The Effect of Antigen on Antibodies: Recent Studies

  • Henry Metzger
Part of the Contemporary Topics in Molecular Immunology book series (CTI)

Abstract

In 1972–1973 I reviewed what was known about the effect of antigen on the properties of antibodies (Metzger, 1974). Several possibilities which had been suggested by various investigators were considered. According to the allosteric model, antigen by virtue of its chemical structure induces conformational changes distal to the combining site. These changes would in turn lead to changes in the molecule (receptor) which was activated by the antigen-antibody complex. According to the distortive model, the topological distribution of antigenic determinants leads to a distortion of a semirigid antibody molecule, resulting in effects similar to those postulated for the allosteric model. Finally a simple associative model of antigen action was considered. Here polymerization of the antibody by a multideterminant antigen would be the critical and perhaps sufficient role played by antigen. I concluded that “... the weight of evidence speaks against both the allosteric and distortive models for antigen action. We are left with the associative model. I know of no data that are inconsistent with this model ... and there is much evidence in favor of it.”

Keywords

Electron Spin Resonance Spin Label Hinge Region Complement Fixation Site Saturation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • Henry Metzger
    • 1
  1. 1.Arthritis and Rheumatism Branch National Institute of Arthritis, Metabolism and Digestive DiseasesNational Institutes of HealthBethesdaUSA

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