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Immunoglobulin J-Chains: A 15 kD "joining" peptide that forms one of the linkages between monomers of IMMUNOGLOBULIN A or IMMUNOGLOBULIN M in the formation of polymeric immunoglobulins. There is one J chain per one IgA dimer or one IgM pentamer. It is also involved in binding the polymeric immunoglobulins to POLYMERIC IMMUNOGLOBULIN RECEPTOR which is necessary for their transcytosis to the lumen. It is distinguished from the IMMUNOGLOBULIN JOINING REGION which is part of the IMMUNOGLOBULIN VARIABLE REGION of the immunoglobulin light and heavy chains.Immunoglobulins: Multi-subunit proteins which function in IMMUNITY. They are produced by B LYMPHOCYTES from the IMMUNOGLOBULIN GENES. They are comprised of two heavy (IMMUNOGLOBULIN HEAVY CHAINS) and two light chains (IMMUNOGLOBULIN LIGHT CHAINS) with additional ancillary polypeptide chains depending on their isoforms. The variety of isoforms include monomeric or polymeric forms, and transmembrane forms (B-CELL ANTIGEN RECEPTORS) or secreted forms (ANTIBODIES). They are divided by the amino acid sequence of their heavy chains into five classes (IMMUNOGLOBULIN A; IMMUNOGLOBULIN D; IMMUNOGLOBULIN E; IMMUNOGLOBULIN G; IMMUNOGLOBULIN M) and various subclasses.Immunoglobulin G: The major immunoglobulin isotype class in normal human serum. There are several isotype subclasses of IgG, for example, IgG1, IgG2A, and IgG2B.Immunoglobulin A: Represents 15-20% of the human serum immunoglobulins, mostly as the 4-chain polymer in humans or dimer in other mammals. Secretory IgA (IMMUNOGLOBULIN A, SECRETORY) is the main immunoglobulin in secretions.Immunoglobulin M: A class of immunoglobulin bearing mu chains (IMMUNOGLOBULIN MU-CHAINS). IgM can fix COMPLEMENT. The name comes from its high molecular weight and originally being called a macroglobulin.Immunoglobulin Heavy Chains: The largest of polypeptide chains comprising immunoglobulins. They contain 450 to 600 amino acid residues per chain, and have molecular weights of 51-72 kDa.Immunoglobulins, Intravenous: Immunoglobulin preparations used in intravenous infusion, containing primarily IMMUNOGLOBULIN G. They are used to treat a variety of diseases associated with decreased or abnormal immunoglobulin levels including pediatric AIDS; primary HYPERGAMMAGLOBULINEMIA; SCID; CYTOMEGALOVIRUS infections in transplant recipients, LYMPHOCYTIC LEUKEMIA, CHRONIC; Kawasaki syndrome, infection in neonates, and IDIOPATHIC THROMBOCYTOPENIC PURPURA.Nutritional and Metabolic Diseases: A collective term for nutritional disorders resulting from poor absorption or nutritional imbalance, and metabolic disorders resulting from defects in biosynthesis (ANABOLISM) or breakdown (CATABOLISM) of endogenous substances.Immunoglobulin Light Chains: Polypeptide chains, consisting of 211 to 217 amino acid residues and having a molecular weight of approximately 22 kDa. There are two major types of light chains, kappa and lambda. Two Ig light chains and two Ig heavy chains (IMMUNOGLOBULIN HEAVY CHAINS) make one immunoglobulin molecule.Projection: A defense mechanism, operating unconsciously, whereby that which is emotionally unacceptable in the self is rejected and attributed (projected) to others.Immunoglobulin E: An immunoglobulin associated with MAST CELLS. Overexpression has been associated with allergic hypersensitivity (HYPERSENSITIVITY, IMMEDIATE).Immunoglobulin A, Secretory: The principle immunoglobulin in exocrine secretions such as milk, respiratory and intestinal mucin, saliva and tears. The complete molecule (around 400 kD) is composed of two four-chain units of IMMUNOGLOBULIN A, one SECRETORY COMPONENT and one J chain (IMMUNOGLOBULIN J-CHAINS).Immunoglobulin Variable Region: That region of the immunoglobulin molecule that varies in its amino acid sequence and composition, and comprises the binding site for a specific antigen. It is located at the N-terminus of the Fab fragment of the immunoglobulin. It includes hypervariable regions (COMPLEMENTARITY DETERMINING REGIONS) and framework regions.Immunoglobulin mu-Chains: The class of heavy chains found in IMMUNOGLOBULIN M. They have a molecular weight of approximately 72 kDa and they contain about 57 amino acid residues arranged in five domains and have more oligosaccharide branches and a higher carbohydrate content than the heavy chains of IMMUNOGLOBULIN G.Immunoglobulin Isotypes: The classes of immunoglobulins found in any species of animal. In man there are nine classes that migrate in five different groups in electrophoresis; they each consist of two light and two heavy protein chains, and each group has distinguishing structural and functional properties.Immunoglobulin lambda-Chains: One of the types of light chain subunits of the immunoglobulins with a molecular weight of approximately 22 kDa.Immunoglobulin D: An immunoglobulin which accounts for less than 1% of plasma immunoglobulin. It is found on the membrane of many circulating B LYMPHOCYTES.Professional Competence: The capability to perform the duties of one's profession generally, or to perform a particular professional task, with skill of an acceptable quality.Immunoglobulin Fc Fragments: Crystallizable fragments composed of the carboxy-terminal halves of both IMMUNOGLOBULIN HEAVY CHAINS linked to each other by disulfide bonds. Fc fragments contain the carboxy-terminal parts of the heavy chain constant regions that are responsible for the effector functions of an immunoglobulin (COMPLEMENT fixation, binding to the cell membrane via FC RECEPTORS, and placental transport). This fragment can be obtained by digestion of immunoglobulins with the proteolytic enzyme PAPAIN.B-Lymphocytes: Lymphoid cells concerned with humoral immunity. They are short-lived cells resembling bursa-derived lymphocytes of birds in their production of immunoglobulin upon appropriate stimulation.Immunoglobulin Class Switching: Gene rearrangement of the B-lymphocyte which results in a substitution in the type of heavy-chain constant region that is expressed. This allows the effector response to change while the antigen binding specificity (variable region) remains the same. The majority of class switching occurs by a DNA recombination event but it also can take place at the level of RNA processing.Immunoglobulin gamma-Chains: Heavy chains of IMMUNOGLOBULIN G having a molecular weight of approximately 51 kDa. They contain about 450 amino acid residues arranged in four domains and an oligosaccharide component covalently bound to the Fc fragment constant region. The gamma heavy chain subclasses (for example, gamma 1, gamma 2a, and gamma 2b) of the IMMUNOGLOBULIN G isotype subclasses (IgG1, IgG2A, and IgG2B) resemble each other more closely than the heavy chains of the other IMMUNOGLOBULIN ISOTYPES.Immunoglobulin Fab Fragments: Univalent antigen-binding fragments composed of one entire IMMUNOGLOBULIN LIGHT CHAIN and the amino terminal end of one of the IMMUNOGLOBULIN HEAVY CHAINS from the hinge region, linked to each other by disulfide bonds. Fab contains the IMMUNOGLOBULIN VARIABLE REGIONS, which are part of the antigen-binding site, and the first IMMUNOGLOBULIN CONSTANT REGIONS. This fragment can be obtained by digestion of immunoglobulins with the proteolytic enzyme PAPAIN.Immunoglobulin Fragments: Partial immunoglobulin molecules resulting from selective cleavage by proteolytic enzymes or generated through PROTEIN ENGINEERING techniques.Immunoglobulin Allotypes: Allelic variants of the immunoglobulin light chains (IMMUNOGLOBULIN LIGHT CHAINS) or heavy chains (IMMUNOGLOBULIN HEAVY CHAINS) encoded by ALLELES of IMMUNOGLOBULIN GENES.Receptors, Polymeric Immunoglobulin: Specialized Fc receptors (RECEPTORS, FC) for polymeric immunoglobulins, which mediate transcytosis of polymeric IMMUNOGLOBULIN A and IMMUNOGLOBULIN M into external secretions. They are found on the surfaces of epithelial cells and hepatocytes. After binding to IMMUNOGLOBULIN A, the receptor-ligand complex undergoes endocytosis, transport by vesicle, and secretion into the lumen by exocytosis. Before release, the part of the receptor (SECRETORY COMPONENT) that is bound to IMMUNOGLOBULIN A is proteolytically cleaved from its transmembrane tail. (From Rosen et al., The Dictionary of Immunology, 1989)Immunoglobulin Joining Region: A segment of the immunoglobulin heavy chains, encoded by the IMMUNOGLOBULIN HEAVY CHAIN GENES in the J segment where, during the maturation of B-LYMPHOCYTES; the gene segment for the variable region upstream is joined to a constant region gene segment downstream. The exact position of joining of the two gene segments is variable and contributes to ANTIBODY DIVERSITY. It is distinguished from the IMMUNOGLOBULIN J CHAINS; a separate polypeptide that serves as a linkage piece in polymeric IGA or IGM.Antibodies, Bacterial: Immunoglobulins produced in a response to BACTERIAL ANTIGENS.Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay: An immunoassay utilizing an antibody labeled with an enzyme marker such as horseradish peroxidase. While either the enzyme or the antibody is bound to an immunosorbent substrate, they both retain their biologic activity; the change in enzyme activity as a result of the enzyme-antibody-antigen reaction is proportional to the concentration of the antigen and can be measured spectrophotometrically or with the naked eye. Many variations of the method have been developed.Receptors, Antigen, B-Cell: IMMUNOGLOBULINS on the surface of B-LYMPHOCYTES. Their MESSENGER RNA contains an EXON with a membrane spanning sequence, producing immunoglobulins in the form of type I transmembrane proteins as opposed to secreted immunoglobulins (ANTIBODIES) which do not contain the membrane spanning segment.Myeloma Proteins: Abnormal immunoglobulins characteristic of MULTIPLE MYELOMA.Antibody Specificity: The property of antibodies which enables them to react with some ANTIGENIC DETERMINANTS and not with others. Specificity is dependent on chemical composition, physical forces, and molecular structure at the binding site.Genes, Immunoglobulin Heavy Chain: Genes and gene segments encoding the IMMUNOGLOBULIN HEAVY CHAINS. Gene segments of the heavy chain genes are symbolized V (variable), D (diversity), J (joining), and C (constant).Somatic Hypermutation, Immunoglobulin: A programmed mutation process whereby changes are introduced to the nucleotide sequence of immunoglobulin gene DNA during development.