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Gene Review

IGHA1  -  immunoglobulin heavy constant alpha 1

Homo sapiens

Synonyms: Ig alpha-1 chain C region
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Disease relevance of IGHA1

  • In order to establish the complete amino acid sequence of the human IgA alpha1 chain Bur, IgA1 protease from Streptococcus sanguis was employed to generate Fabalpha and Fcalpha fragments in the final stage of this investigation [1].
  • The pathogenesis of immunoglobulin A (IgA) nephropathy (IgAN), the most prevalent form of glomerulonephritis worldwide, involves circulating macromolecular IgA1 complexes [2].
  • To study these interactions, we previously established expression of human IgA1 in insect cells using recombinant baculoviruses and showed that the expressed antibody is a structurally and functionally intact polypeptide useful for examining the molecular properties of IgA [3].
  • Antitumor immune effector mechanisms recruited by phage display-derived fully human IgG1 and IgA1 monoclonal antibodies [4].
  • Several human bacterial pathogens, including the Gram-negative diplococcus Neisseria gonorrhoeae, produce extracellular proteases that are specific for human immunoglobulin IgA1 [5].

Psychiatry related information on IGHA1

  • Immunofluorescent studies revealed that all surface IgA1 kappa + leukemic cells in WF's blood and 10% of the IgM+ B cells in his bone marrow expressed the WF Id [6].
  • IgA2 subclass and IgA2/IgA1 ratio could therefore be used as markers of chronic alcohol abuse directly related to the extent and duration of the alcohol abuse and the effectiveness of alcohol withdrawal [7].

High impact information on IGHA1

  • IL-10 induces naive B cells to produce IgG3, IgG1, and IgA1, and further addition of TGF beta permits the secretion of IgA2 [8].
  • Immunoglobulin-alpha (IgA)-bound antigens induce immune effector responses by activating the IgA-specific receptor FcalphaRI (CD89) on immune cells [9].
  • The FcalphaRI-binding site on IgA1 overlaps the reported polymeric immunoglobulin receptor (pIgR)-binding site, which might explain why secretory IgA cannot initiate phagocytosis or bind to FcalphaRI-expressing cells in the absence of an integrin co-receptor [9].
  • OBJECTIVES: To compare IgA1 protease activity in nontypeable H influenzae strains isolated from patients with symptomatic Haemophilus infection (sputum, cerebrospinal fluid, blood, or normally sterile tissue) vs strains from throat swabs of asymptomatic carriers and to compare iga gene carriage and variability in nontypeable H influenzae strains [10].
  • The characterization of transferrin receptor as a novel IgA1 receptor on renal mesangial cells suggests its potential involvement in the pathogenesis of IgA nephropathy [11].

Chemical compound and disease context of IGHA1

  • Because these proteases are specific for human IgA1, we generated human mAbs to the major surface antigen of the pneumococcus, its capsular polysaccharide, and tested their effect in a colonization model of bacterial adherence to respiratory epithelial cells in culture [12].
  • Hence, unlike the situation with the metallo-IgA1 proteases of Streptococcus spp., the sensitivity of human IgA1 to cleavage with the serine IgA1 proteases of Neisseria and Haemophilus involves their binding to different sites specifically in the CH3 domain [13].
  • Hinge length reduction by removal of two of the four C-terminal proline residues rendered IgA2-IgA1 half hinge resistant to all streptococcal IgA1 metalloproteinases but it remained sensitive to cleavage by the serine-type IgA1 proteases of Neisseria and Haemophilus spp [14].
  • Fc fragments isolated from the IgA1 and the IgA2 A2m(1) by digestion with the Clostridium sp. protease were identified to have an identical amino terminal residue of valine [15].
  • In 44 patients with seasonal rhinitis/asthma, serum IgA1, IgA2, and polymeric (J chain-containing) Abs to the major allergen Phl p 5 were determined by ELISA before and after a 2-year double-blind trial of grass pollen (Phleum pratense) injection IT [16].

Biological context of IGHA1


Anatomical context of IGHA1

  • Chimeras constructed by exchanging complete domains between these two receptors were transfected to COS-1 cells and assayed for their ability to bind hIgA- or bIgG2-coated beads [21].
  • The FcalphaRI (CD89) expressed by myeloid cells selectively binds IgA1 and IgA2 antibodies, whereas the poly-IgR, Fcalpha/muR, and asialoglycoprotein receptors bind other ligands in addition to IgA [11].
  • Analyses of effector populations, however, demonstrated that killing by chimeric IgG1 constructs was triggered mainly by human mononuclear cells and complement, while IgA1 and IgA2 mediated effective lysis by polymorphonuclear neutrophils [22].
  • Therefore, we used the variable light and heavy chain sequences from another murine anti-HLA class II hybridoma, F3.3, to generate a panel of chimeric human/mouse antibodies, including human immunoglobulin A1 (IgA1), IgA2, IgG1, IgG2, IgG3, and IgG4 [22].
  • In addition, the data suggest that a combination of IgG1 and IgA1 antitumor huMabs may collaborate in tumor cell killing in patients treated with granulocyte colony-stimulating factor [4].

Associations of IGHA1 with chemical compounds

  • Thus, one N-linked glycan plays a structural role in IgD and is required for proper assembly and secretion, but the O-linked carbohydrates in the hinge of IgD and IgA1 are not required for folding and export [19].
  • Proline-to-serine substitution at residue 230 in a hinge containing potentially cleavable Pro-Ser and Pro-Thr peptide bonds increased the resistance of the antibody to cleavage by many IgA1 proteases [23].
  • The circulating immune complexes (CIC) are composed of galactose- (Gal) deficient IgA1 and IgG or IgA1 antibodies specific for the Gal-deficient IgA1; interactions of these CIC with mesangial cells (MC) were studied [24].
  • A characteristic of human pathogenic Neisseriae is the production and secretion of an immunoglobulin (Ig)A1-specific serine protease (IgA1 protease) that cleaves preferentially human IgA1 and other target proteins [25].
  • IgA1 protease did not induce the regulatory cytokine IL-10, which was, however, found in response to lipopolysaccharide and phytohemagglutinin [25].

Regulatory relationships of IGHA1


Other interactions of IGHA1

  • The IGHA1 and IGHA2 genes, like the mouse Igh-A gene, have a single exon encoding the extracellular, transmembrane, and cytoplasmic regions [17].
  • The most common duplication, found in all populations studied, encompasses the IGHA1-IGHE genes [27].
  • The level of intraspecies heterogeneity was very high for IGHA genes, whereas IGHG genes were remarkably similar in all animals examined [28].
  • Thus a human IgA1 mutant, LA441-442MN, which mimicked the mouse IgA loop sequence through substitution of two adjacent residues in the Calpha3 loop, was found, like mouse IgA, not to bind CD89 [29].
  • We have constructed a recombinant, fully human IgA1 monoclonal antibody, UBS-54/IgA1, against the tumor-associated Ep-CAM molecule and compared its tumor-killing capacity with its IgG1 counterpart in in vitro assays [4].

Analytical, diagnostic and therapeutic context of IGHA1

  • Therefore, we applied the Inverse-PCR technique to amplify the sequences flanking the IGHA genes [18].
  • After 1 wk in culture, approximately 60% of the PWM-stimulated cells that contained IgA were positive for IgA2, whereas 40% were IgA1 positive as determined by immunofluorescence [30].
  • To investigate whether the IgA hyperresponsiveness is limited to the subclass IgA1, which is involved in the pathogenesis of IgAN, we compared the immune responses of 18 patients with 22 healthy controls after intramuscular vaccination with inactivated influenza virus [31].
  • Two subjects, of 11,000 healthy individuals screened, were found to be missing three and four immunoglobulin isotypes, respectively (IgA1, IgG2, and IgG4; IgA1, IgG2, IgG4, and IgE), and have been analyzed at the DNA level by means of Southern blotting and Ig heavy-chain-specific probes [32].
  • IgA1 protease activity was determined by a sensitive semiquantitative ELISA assay [33].


  1. Primary structure of a human IgA1 immunoglobulin. IV. Streptococcal IgA1 protease, digestion, Fab and Fc fragments, and the complete amino acid sequence of the alpha 1 heavy chain. Putnam, F.W., Liu, Y.S., Low, T.L. J. Biol. Chem. (1979) [Pubmed]
  2. Fcalpha receptor (CD89) mediates the development of immunoglobulin A (IgA) nephropathy (Berger's disease). Evidence for pathogenic soluble receptor-Iga complexes in patients and CD89 transgenic mice. Launay, P., Grossetête, B., Arcos-Fajardo, M., Gaudin, E., Torres, S.P., Beaudoin, L., Patey-Mariaud de Serre, N., Lehuen, A., Monteiro, R.C. J. Exp. Med. (2000) [Pubmed]
  3. Localization of the binding site for the monocyte immunoglobulin (Ig) A-Fc receptor (CD89) to the domain boundary between Calpha2 and Calpha3 in human IgA1. Carayannopoulos, L., Hexham, J.M., Capra, J.D. J. Exp. Med. (1996) [Pubmed]
  4. Antitumor immune effector mechanisms recruited by phage display-derived fully human IgG1 and IgA1 monoclonal antibodies. Huls, G., Heijnen, I.A., Cuomo, E., van der Linden, J., Boel, E., van de Winkel, J.G., Logtenberg, T. Cancer Res. (1999) [Pubmed]
  5. Gene structure and extracellular secretion of Neisseria gonorrhoeae IgA protease. Pohlner, J., Halter, R., Beyreuther, K., Meyer, T.F. Nature (1987) [Pubmed]
  6. Studies on the clonal origin of human B cell leukemia using monoclonal anti-idiotype antibodies. Mayumi, M., Kubagawa, H., Omura, G.A., Gathings, W.E., Kearney, J.F., Cooper, M.D. J. Immunol. (1982) [Pubmed]
  7. Increased serum concentration of IgA2 subclass and IgA2/IgA1 ratio: specific markers of chronic alcoholic abuse? Meillet, D., Labrousse, F., Benoit, M.O., Hernvann, A., Musset, L., van Amerongen, G. European journal of clinical chemistry and clinical biochemistry : journal of the Forum of European Clinical Chemistry Societies. (1997) [Pubmed]
  8. The CD40 antigen and its ligand. Banchereau, J., Bazan, F., Blanchard, D., Brière, F., Galizzi, J.P., van Kooten, C., Liu, Y.J., Rousset, F., Saeland, S. Annu. Rev. Immunol. (1994) [Pubmed]
  9. Insights into IgA-mediated immune responses from the crystal structures of human FcalphaRI and its complex with IgA1-Fc. Herr, A.B., Ballister, E.R., Bjorkman, P.J. Nature (2003) [Pubmed]
  10. Nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae in carriage and disease: a difference in IgA1 protease activity levels. Vitovski, S., Dunkin, K.T., Howard, A.J., Sayers, J.R. JAMA (2002) [Pubmed]
  11. Identification of the transferrin receptor as a novel immunoglobulin (Ig)A1 receptor and its enhanced expression on mesangial cells in IgA nephropathy. Moura, I.C., Centelles, M.N., Arcos-Fajardo, M., Malheiros, D.M., Collawn, J.F., Cooper, M.D., Monteiro, R.C. J. Exp. Med. (2001) [Pubmed]
  12. Antibody-enhanced pneumococcal adherence requires IgA1 protease. Weiser, J.N., Bae, D., Fasching, C., Scamurra, R.W., Ratner, A.J., Janoff, E.N. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (2003) [Pubmed]
  13. Sites in the CH3 Domain of Human IgA1 That Influence Sensitivity to Bacterial IgA1 Proteases. Senior, B.W., Woof, J.M. J. Immunol. (2006) [Pubmed]
  14. The influences of hinge length and composition on the susceptibility of human IgA to cleavage by diverse bacterial IgA1 proteases. Senior, B.W., Woof, J.M. J. Immunol. (2005) [Pubmed]
  15. A novel IgA protease from Clostridium sp. capable of cleaving IgA1 and IgA2 A2m(1) but not IgA2 A2m(2) allotype paraproteins. Fujiyama, Y., Kobayashi, K., Senda, S., Benno, Y., Bamba, T., Hosoda, S. J. Immunol. (1985) [Pubmed]
  16. Grass Pollen Immunotherapy Induces an Allergen-Specific IgA2 Antibody Response Associated with Mucosal TGF-beta Expression. Pilette, C., Nouri-Aria, K.T., Jacobson, M.R., Wilcock, L.K., Detry, B., Walker, S.M., Francis, J.N., Durham, S.R. J. Immunol. (2007) [Pubmed]
  17. Gene segments encoding membrane domains of the human immunoglobulin gamma 3 and alpha chains. Bensmana, M., Lefranc, M.P. Immunogenetics (1990) [Pubmed]
  18. Tandem repeats 3' of the IGHA genes in the human immunoglobulin heavy chain gene cluster. Kang, H.K., Cox, D.W. Genomics (1996) [Pubmed]
  19. The role of constant region carbohydrate in the assembly and secretion of human IgD and IgA1. Gala, F.A., Morrison, S.L. J. Biol. Chem. (2002) [Pubmed]
  20. Purification, properties and extended solution structure of the complex formed between human immunoglobulin A1 and human serum albumin by scattering and ultracentrifugation. Almogren, A., Furtado, P.B., Sun, Z., Perkins, S.J., Kerr, M.A. J. Mol. Biol. (2006) [Pubmed]
  21. Immunoglobulin-binding sites of human FcalphaRI (CD89) and bovine Fcgamma2R are located in their membrane-distal extracellular domains. Morton, H.C., van Zandbergen, G., van Kooten, C., Howard, C.J., van de Winkel, J.G., Brandtzaeg, P. J. Exp. Med. (1999) [Pubmed]
  22. Chimeric IgA antibodies against HLA class II effectively trigger lymphoma cell killing. Dechant, M., Vidarsson, G., Stockmeyer, B., Repp, R., Glennie, M.J., Gramatzki, M., van De Winkel, J.G., Valerius, T. Blood (2002) [Pubmed]
  23. Effect of mutations in the human immunoglobulin A1 (IgA1) hinge on its susceptibility to cleavage by diverse bacterial IgA1 proteases. Senior, B.W., Woof, J.M. Infect. Immun. (2005) [Pubmed]
  24. Interactions of human mesangial cells with IgA and IgA-containing immune complexes. Novak, J., Vu, H.L., Novak, L., Julian, B.A., Mestecky, J., Tomana, M. Kidney Int. (2002) [Pubmed]
  25. Immunoglobulin A1 protease, an exoenzyme of pathogenic Neisseriae, is a potent inducer of proinflammatory cytokines. Lorenzen, D.R., Düx, F., Wölk, U., Tsirpouchtsidis, A., Haas, G., Meyer, T.F. J. Exp. Med. (1999) [Pubmed]
  26. MUC1 is activated in a B-cell lymphoma by the t(1;14)(q21;q32) translocation and is rearranged and amplified in B-cell lymphoma subsets. Dyomin, V.G., Palanisamy, N., Lloyd, K.O., Dyomina, K., Jhanwar, S.C., Houldsworth, J., Chaganti, R.S. Blood (2000) [Pubmed]
  27. Duplications and deletions of the human IGHC locus: evolutionary implications. Rabbani, H., Pan, Q., Kondo, N., Smith, C.I., Hammarström, L. Immunogenetics (1996) [Pubmed]
  28. Rhesus macaque antibody molecules: sequences and heterogeneity of alpha and gamma constant regions. Scinicariello, F., Engleman, C.N., Jayashankar, L., McClure, H.M., Attanasio, R. Immunology (2004) [Pubmed]
  29. Identification of residues in the CH2/CH3 domain interface of IgA essential for interaction with the human fcalpha receptor (FcalphaR) CD89. Pleass, R.J., Dunlop, J.I., Anderson, C.M., Woof, J.M. J. Biol. Chem. (1999) [Pubmed]
  30. Production of predominantly polymeric IgA by human peripheral blood lymphocytes stimulated in vitro with mitogens. Kutteh, W.H., Koopman, W.J., Conley, M.E., Egan, M.L., Mestecky, J. J. Exp. Med. (1980) [Pubmed]
  31. Humoral immune response to influenza vaccination in patients with primary immunoglobulin A nephropathy. An analysis of isotype distribution and size of the influenza-specific antibodies. van den Wall Bake, A.W., Beyer, W.E., Evers-Schouten, J.H., Hermans, J., Daha, M.R., Masurel, N., van Es, L.A. J. Clin. Invest. (1989) [Pubmed]
  32. Multiple gene deletions within the human immunoglobulin heavy-chain cluster. Migone, N., Oliviero, S., de Lange, G., Delacroix, D.L., Boschis, D., Altruda, F., Silengo, L., DeMarchi, M., Carbonara, A.O. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (1984) [Pubmed]
  33. Invasive isolates of Neisseria meningitidis possess enhanced immunoglobulin A1 protease activity compared to colonizing strains. Vitovski, S., Read, R.C., Sayers, J.R. FASEB J. (1999) [Pubmed]
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