History of Immunoglobulin molecules


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Snapshots in the history of Immunoglobulin molecules

1939

gamma-Globulin

gamma-Globulin

Tiseluis and Kabat in 1939 showed that antibodies belong to the γ-globulin fraction of serum proteins

1959

Three Fractions

Three Fractions

Porter digested γ-globulins with papain, a proteolytic enzyme, and recovered 3 fractions: Fractions I and II of molecular weights between 50 and 55KDa retained the antigen binding capacity, whereas fraction III, of 80 KDa was crystalizable, and have a higher carbohydrate content (Porter RR, Biochem J. 73:119-127, 1959).

1961

Heavy and Light chains

Heavy and Light chains

Edelman and Poulik reported that rabbit 7S γ-globulins and human myeloma proteins reduced in strong urea solutions and alkylated, separated into heavy (H) and light (L) chains bound by disulfide bonds (Edelman GM and Poulik MD, J Exp Med. 113:861-884, 1961)

1963

Y Structure

Y Structure

Porter and colleagues proposed the basic Y structure of four polypeptide chains and 5 interchain disulfide bonds (Fleischman JB et al., Biochem J. 88:220-228, 1963)

1965

IgA

IgA

Tomasi and coworkers demonstrated that IgA present in saliva and colostrum is produced locally and secreted as a dimer or trimer by (Tomasi TB et al., J Exp Med 121:101-124, 1965) and Newcomb and coworkers demonstrated the existence of the secretory piece (Newcomb RW et al., J immunol 101:905-913, 1968).

1969

Variable and Constant Regions

Variable and Constant Regions

Edelman and coworkers reported the first complete sequence of a γG immunoglobulin molecule and demonstrated the existence of variable (V) and constant (C) regions in the H and L chains (Edelman GM et al., Proc Nat Acad Sci USA 63:78-85, 1969)

1972

Nobel Prize

Nobel Prize

Edelman and Porter shared the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1972 “for their discoveries concerning the chemical structure of antibodies”

(Gerald M. Edelman – Facts. Nobelprize.org. Nobel Media AB 2014.
Rodney R. Porter – FactsNobelprize.org. Nobel Media AB 2014.)

 

1974

Monomers

Monomers

Koshland and coworkers demonstrated that the monomers of the polymeric IgM and IgA are linked by the J chain in a clasp way (Halpern MS and Koshland ME. Nature 228:1276-1278, 1970; Chapuis RM, Koshland ME, Proc Nat Acad Sci 71:657-661, 1974)

3D Structure

3D Structure

Poljak and colleagues described the three-dimensional structure of IgG(l) myeloma protein (Poljak et al., Proc Nat Acad Sci 71. 3440-3444, 1974).

Acknowledgement
History kindly supplied by Dr Luis Garcia – Immunopaedia Steering Committee

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
International Union of Immunological SocietiesUniversity of South AfricaInstitute of Infectious Disease and Molecular MedicineScience Education PrizesElizabeth Glazer Pediatric Aids Foundation