Isotype can affect the fine specificity of an antibody for a polysaccharide antigen

Gary R. McLean, Marcela Torres, Natalia Elguezabal, Antonio Nakouzi, Arturo Casadevall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


Ab specificity is determined by V region sequence. The murine Mab 18B7 (IgG1) binds to the Cryptococcus neoformans capsular polysaccharide glucuronoxylomannan and produces annular immunofluorescence (IF) on yeast cells. The heavy and light V regions of 18B7 were expressed with the human C regions μ, γ1, γ2, γ3, γ4, and α1, and the specificity and binding properties of these mouse-human chimeric (ch) Abs was determined. The chIgG1, chIgG2, chIgG4, and the chIgA produced annular IF, whereas the IgM and IgG3 produced punctate IF, despite identical V region sequences. Competition experiments with murine Abs that competed with mAb 18B7 and binding assays to peptide mimetics of glucuronoxylomannan provided additional evidence for altered specificity in some of the ch Abs. Expression of 18B7 heavy V region with murine μ C region produced IgM with a punctate IF, indicating that a change in fine specificity also accompanied the change from murine IgG1 to IgM. Our results show that Ab fine specificity can be a function of isotype. This phenomenon may be most apparent for Abs that bind to Ag with repeating epitopes, such as polysaccharides, where the quarternary structure of the Ag-Ab complex may be influenced by such constraints as Fab-Fab angles, Fc-Fc interactions, Ab size, and solvent accessibility to exposed surfaces. Alterations in Ab fine specificity following isotype change could have important implications for current concepts on the generation of secondary Ab responses to certain Ags and for the isotype preference observed in Abs to polysaccharides.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1379-1386
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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