Combinatorial Associations

Combinatorial association refers to the specific groupings of light chains and heavy chains that make up the antibody molecule. Both types of chains acquire diversity through gene rearrangement and imprecise joining. Additional diversity is then introduced when these two molecules join; it is the combination of the two chains that creates the antigen-binding site (see figure 16.4b).

Negative Selection of Self-Reactive B Cells

Negative selection is the process of eliminating lymphocytes, including B cells, that recognize "self" molecules. The result is called clonal deletion. Failure to eliminate such B cells results in the production of autoantibodies, which are antibodies that bind to host components, causing the immune system to attack "self" substances.

lgG HEAVY CHAIN

Introns

About 65 ■variable region genes-

About 27 diversity — regions-1

./. V65 ./• Di .. D, ./.D27-/.. Ji ■••■ J, ••/• Je-/

Constant - region genes-

Di J2

Di J2

^ Transcription

^ RNA splicing

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