Sunday, January 17, 2010


Antibodies consist of two Ig heavy chains (blue) linked by disulfide bonds to two Ig light chains (green).

Heavy chains

Heavy chains define the class of immunoglobulin. There are 5 types of heavy chains:
  1. α (Ig A)
  2. δ (Ig D)
  3. ε (Ig E)
  4. γ (Ig G)
  5. μ (Ig M)
The immunoglobulin heavy chain gene complex has been assigned to chromosome 14.

Light chains

There are 2 types of light chains:
  1. Lambda (λ) - encoded by a gene on chromosome 22
  2. Kappa (κ) - encoded by a gene on chromosome 2
Ig light chains produced in neoplastic plasma cells (e.g. in multiple myeloma) are called Bence Jones proteins.



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