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

Analysis of IgM structures involved in J chain incorporation.

J chain is associated with pentameric IgM and polymeric IgA. In IgM, J chain is disulfide bonded to the C575 residue of the mu-chain, located in the mu tail piece (mu tp). Previous studies indicated that mu tp is not sufficient to mediate J chain incorporation into polymeric Ig. In this study, we analyzed which other C mu domains are involved in J chain incorporation. Three altered forms of mouse IgM were analyzed: IgM lacking the C mu 1 domain, IgM in which the C mu 2 and C mu 3 domains were replaced by the hinge region and the C gamma 2 domain of IgG2b, and IgM, in which the C mu 4 domain was replaced by C gamma 3. We found that neither C mu 1, C mu 2, nor C mu 3 was absolutely required for J chain incorporation. The importance of C mu 4 could not be fully analyzed because the C gamma 3 replacement mutant failed to form polymers. Also, we found that the glycosylation site at asparagine 563 of mu tp was important for J chain incorporation. Disruption of this site by replacement of either asparagine 563 by tyrosine or serine 565 by phenylalanine resulted in diminished J chain incorporation and increased production of hexameric IgM. These results demonstrate the importance of structural elements located close to mu tp in the incorporation of J chain into IgM.[1]


  1. Analysis of IgM structures involved in J chain incorporation. Wiersma, E.J., Chen, F., Bazin, R., Collins, C., Painter, R.H., Lemieux, R., Shulman, M.J. J. Immunol. (1997) [Pubmed]
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