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Green turtles (Chelonia mydas) have novel asymmetrical antibodies

October 23, 2015

Igs in vertebrates comprise equally sized H and L chains, with exceptions such as H chain–only Abs in camels or natural Ag receptors in sharks. In Reptilia, Igs are known as IgYs. Using immunoassays with isotype-specific mAbs, in this study we show that green turtles (Chelonia mydas) have a 5.7S 120-kDa IgY comprising two equally sized H/L chains with truncated Fc and a 7S 200-kDa IgY comprised of two differently sized H chains bound to L chains and apparently often noncovalently associated with an antigenically related 90-kDa moiety. Both the 200- and 90-kDa 7S molecules are made in response to specific Ag, although the 90-kDa molecule appears more prominent after chronic Ag stimulation. Despite no molecular evidence of a hinge, electron microscopy reveals marked flexibility of Fab arms of 7S and 5.7S IgY. Both IgY can be captured with protein G or melon gel, but less so with protein A. Thus, turtle IgY share some characteristics with mammalian IgG. However, the asymmetrical structure of some turtle Ig and the discovery of an Ig class indicative of chronic antigenic stimulation represent striking advances in our understanding of immunology.

Publication Year 2015
Title Green turtles (Chelonia mydas) have novel asymmetrical antibodies
DOI 10.4049/jimmunol.1501332
Authors Thierry M. Work, Julie Dagenais, Renee Breeden, Anette Schneemann, Joyce Sung, Brian Hew, George H. Balazs, John M. Berestecky
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Journal of Immunology
Index ID 70159480
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization National Wildlife Health Center