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Mol Immunol. 1994 Oct;31(15):1201-10.

Human/mouse chimeric monoclonal antibodies with human IgG1, IgG2, IgG3 and IgG4 constant domains: electron microscopic and hydrodynamic characterization.

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Department of Chemistry, University of California, LA 90024.


The unique structure of the human IgG3 constant region with its greatly extended hinge can clearly be seen in electron micrographs, which compare a series of recombinant proteins with the same murine anti-dansyl variable domain but constant domains from human IgG1, IgG2, IgG3 and IgG4. The hinge region of IgG3 was found to be very long, with some measurements extending to 100 A. It exhibited considerable flexibility allowing the Fc to be displaced far toward either side. Upon addition of bivalent hapten, all of the monoclonal antibodies formed complexes. IgG1, IgG3 and IgG4 formed circular dimers, composed of two antibodies forming a ring-shaped complex, presumably through the binding of two bivalent haptens. IgG2, on the other hand, showed a distribution of complexes which was noticeably different from the other subclasses. Some circular dimers, some linear dimers and a large amount of monomer were seen. This was interpreted in terms of an energy barrier to ring closure arising from the orientation of the Fab arms of IgG2 probably leading to linear dimers as the predominate complex seen with the analytical ultracentrifuge. A substantial number of these dimers probably dissociated upon dilution for examination in the electron microscope. The distribution of the angles between the Fab arms of the monoclonal antibodies forming the circular dimers has been measured for the different subclasses. Most were open at wide angles (> 100 degrees) but some formed very shallow angles, with the Fab arms being nearly parallel to each other. The free energy for this transition was calculated from the ratio of open/closed angles, and it was found to be proportional to the length of the upper hinge of the monoclonal antibody, in agreement with previous nanosecond depolarization results (Dangl et al., Eur. molec. Biol. Org. J. 7, 1989-1994, 1988).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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