Immunoglobulins - amino acids Each chain...

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Immunoglobulins Immunoglobulins generally assume one of two roles: immunoglobulins may act as i) plasma membrane bound antigen receptors on the surface of a B-cell or ii) as antibodies free in cellular fluids functioning to intercept and eliminate antigenic determinants. In either role, antibody function is intimately related to its structure and this page will introduce immunoglobulins (antibodies) and relate their structure to their function in host defense. BASIC IMMUNOGLOBULIN STRUCTURE Immunoglobulins are composed of four polypeptide chains: two "light" chains (lambda or kappa), and two "heavy" chains (alpha, delta, gamma, epsilon or mu). The type of heavy chain determines the immunoglobulin isotype (IgA, IgD, IgG, IgE, IgM, respectively). Light chains are composed of 220 amino acid residues while heavy chains are composed of 440-550
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Unformatted text preview: amino acids. Each chain has "constant" and "variable" regions as shown in the figure. Variable regions are contained within the amino (NH 2 ) terminal end of the polypeptide chain (amino acids 1-110). When comparing one antibody to another, these amino acid sequences are quite distinct. Constant regions, comprising amino acids 111-220 (or 440-550), are rather uniform, in comparison, from one antibody to another, within the same isotype. "Hypervariable" regions, or "Complementarity Determining Regions" (CDRs) are found within the variable regions of both the heavy and light chains. These regions serve to recognize and bind specifically to antigen. The four polypeptide chains are held together by covalent disulfide (-S-S-) bonds....
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Immunoglobulins - amino acids Each chain...

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