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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1989 Mar;86(6):2036-9.

Anti-idiotypic antibodies that protect cells against the action of diphtheria toxin.

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Department of Microbiology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas 75235.


An anti-idiotypic serum prepared against the combining site (idiotype) of specific anti-diphtheria toxoid antibodies was characterized with respect to its interaction with highly diphtheria toxin-sensitive Vero cells. Although the anti-idiotypic serum protected Vero cells against the cytotoxic action of diphtheria toxin, it did not prevent the binding of 125I-labeled diphtheria toxin to the cells but did inhibit the internalization and degradation of 125I-labeled toxin. This anti-idiotypic serum immunoprecipitated a cell-surface protein from radiolabeled Vero cells with an apparent Mr of approximately 15,000. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that the anti-idiotypic serum contains antibodies that carry an internal image of an internalization site on the toxin and that a cell-surface protein involved in toxin internalization possesses a complementary site recognized by both the toxin and the anti-idiotypic antibodies.

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