Send to

Choose Destination
Clin Immunol Immunopathol. 1994 Sep;72(3):394-401.

Molecular basis for the interaction between human IgM and staphylococcal protein A.

Author information

Institute of Rheumatology, Tokyo Women's Medical College, Japan.


To examine the relationship between VH gene usage and reactivity of immunoglobulins, we cloned B cells from peripheral blood from adults and from human neonatal cord blood by EBV transformation. Nearly one-third of the B cell clones from both sources produced IgM reactive with staphylococcal protein A (SPA). None of such IgM reacted with other antigens, except for the crude extract of Staphylococcus aureus. All of 22 B cell clones producing IgM reactive with SPA expressed VH3 genes, while none of the control 15 clones secreting IgM nonreactive with SPA expressed VH3. The IgM proteins reactive with SPA could be clearly divided into two subjects based on the differential binding avidity to solid-phase SPA. Both kappa and lambda light chains were used in each subset of SPA-reactive IgM. Sequence analysis of the PCR products from seven VH3-IgM clones revealed that the VH3 genes were used in nearly germline configuration. The D and J gene usage was diverse. Comparison of amino acid sequences between antibodies with high and low avidity to SPA suggests that the differential avidity is related to amino acid sequence differences in the complementarity determining region 2 and framework region 3. The high frequencies of B cells committed to the production of SPA-reactive IgM in normal blood and the restricted use of VH3 heavy chain genes in nearly germline configuration in these cells support the notion that SPA behaves like a superantigen toward human B cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center