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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

The B10.A mouse B cell response to pigeon cytochrome c is directed against the same area of the protein that is recognized by B10.A T cells in association with the Ek beta:Ek alpha Ia molecule.

An analysis of the fine specificities of the primary and hyperimmune antibody responses of B10.A mice to pigeon cytochrome c showed that both were qualitatively very similar. Small amounts of antibody appeared to be directed against the regions of serine 15 and/or glutamic acid 44. The remaining antibodies (greater than 70%) bound to the same complex topographic determinant (including residues 3, 103, and 104) on the back surface of pigeon cytochrome c which had been found to dominate the rabbit antibody response to this protein, and to be involved in Ia-restricted T cell stimulation. The mouse antibodies reacted very poorly with fragmented forms of the immunogen or with tobacco hornworm moth cytochrome c, even though both of these antigens had been shown previously to strongly stimulate pigeon cytochrome c-primed T cells. The specificities of the primary IgG responses of seven other mouse strains were found to be very similar, but not identical, to that of B10.A mice. The cytochrome c-specific antibodies in the hyperimmune serum were shown to bind to determinants involving residues that vary between pigeon and mouse cytochromes c. Comparison of the binding of the antibodies to the immunogen and to the corresponding host protein enabled the calculation of the proportion of the overall binding energy contributed by the variant residues. This was as low as 19 to 35% for the primary response, rose to 25 to 46% for the hyperimmune mouse antibodies, and reached 40 to 63% for hyperimmune rabbit antibodies. The remaining energy of interaction (37 to 81%) was necessarily contributed by the surface of the protein surrounding the variant residues, which is the same for the immunogen and the host protein. These results illustrate the relatively subtle differences in binding affinities which can distinguish self from non-self recognition by antibody molecules.[1]


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