Antibody Diversity: The phenomenon of immense variability characteristic of ANTIBODIES. It enables the IMMUNE SYSTEM to react specifically against the essentially unlimited kinds of ANTIGENS it encounters. Antibody diversity is accounted for by three main theories: (1) the Germ Line Theory, which holds that each antibody-producing cell has genes coding for all possible antibody specificities, but expresses only the one stimulated by antigen; (2) the Somatic Mutation Theory, which holds that antibody-producing cells contain only a few genes, which produce antibody diversity by mutation; and (3) the Gene Rearrangement Theory, which holds that antibody diversity is generated by the rearrangement of IMMUNOGLOBULIN VARIABLE REGION gene segments during the differentiation of the ANTIBODY-PRODUCING CELLS.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.Antibodies: Immunoglobulin molecules having a specific amino acid sequence by virtue of which they interact only with the ANTIGEN (or a very similar shape) that induced their synthesis in cells of the lymphoid series (especially PLASMA CELLS).Cytidine Deaminase: An enzyme that catalyzes the deamination of cytidine, forming uridine. EC 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.Somatic Hypermutation, Immunoglobulin: A programmed mutation process whereby changes are introduced to the nucleotide sequence of immunoglobulin gene DNA during development.Binding Sites, Antibody: Local surface sites on antibodies which react with antigen determinant sites on antigens (EPITOPES.) They are formed from parts of the variable regions of FAB FRAGMENTS.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.Genes, Immunoglobulin: Genes encoding the different subunits of the IMMUNOGLOBULINS, for example the IMMUNOGLOBULIN LIGHT CHAIN GENES and the IMMUNOGLOBULIN HEAVY CHAIN GENES. The heavy and light immunoglobulin genes are present as gene segments in the germline cells. The completed genes are created when the segments are shuffled and assembled (B-LYMPHOCYTE GENE REARRANGEMENT) during B-LYMPHOCYTE maturation. The gene segments of the human light and heavy chain germline genes are symbolized V (variable), J (joining) and C (constant). The heavy chain germline genes have an additional segment D (diversity).Immunoglobulin kappa-Chains: One of the types of light chains of the immunoglobulins with a molecular weight of approximately 22 kDa.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.Antibodies, Viral: Immunoglobulins produced in response to VIRAL ANTIGENS.Amino Acid Sequence: The order of amino acids as they occur in a polypeptide chain. This is referred to as the primary structure of proteins. It is of fundamental importance in determining PROTEIN CONFORMATION.Antibodies, Bacterial: Immunoglobulins produced in a response to BACTERIAL ANTIGENS.Antibodies, Monoclonal: Antibodies produced by a single clone of cells.Genes: A category of nucleic acid sequences that function as units of heredity and which code for the basic instructions for the development, reproduction, and maintenance of organisms.Base Sequence: The sequence of PURINES and PYRIMIDINES in nucleic acids and polynucleotides. It is also called nucleotide sequence.Antibody Formation: The production of ANTIBODIES by proliferating and differentiated B-LYMPHOCYTES under stimulation by ANTIGENS.Antibodies, Neutralizing: Antibodies that reduce or abolish some biological activity of a soluble antigen or infectious agent, usually a virus.DNA: A deoxyribonucleotide polymer that is the primary genetic material of all cells. Eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms normally contain DNA in a double-stranded state, yet several important biological processes transiently involve single-stranded regions. DNA, which consists of a polysugar-phosphate backbone possessing projections of purines (adenine and guanine) and pyrimidines (thymine and cytosine), forms a double helix that is held together by hydrogen bonds between these purines and pyrimidines (adenine to thymine and guanine to cytosine).Genetic Variation: Genotypic differences observed among individuals in a population.Antibody Affinity: A measure of the binding strength between antibody and a simple hapten or antigen determinant. It depends on the closeness of stereochemical fit between antibody combining sites and antigen determinants, on the size of the area of contact between them, and on the distribution of charged and hydrophobic groups. It includes the concept of "avidity," which refers to the strength of the antigen-antibody bond after formation of reversible complexes.Fluorescent Antibody Technique: Test for tissue antigen using either a direct method, by conjugation of antibody with fluorescent dye (FLUORESCENT ANTIBODY TECHNIQUE, DIRECT) or an indirect method, by formation of antigen-antibody complex which is then labeled with fluorescein-conjugated anti-immunoglobulin antibody (FLUORESCENT ANTIBODY TECHNIQUE, INDIRECT). The tissue is then examined by fluorescence microscopy.Molecular Sequence Data: Descriptions of specific amino acid, carbohydrate, or nucleotide sequences which have appeared in the published literature and/or are deposited in and maintained by databanks such as GENBANK, European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), National Biomedical Research Foundation (NBRF), or other sequence repositories.Antibodies, Anti-Idiotypic: Antibodies which react with the individual structural determinants (idiotopes) on the variable region of other antibodies.Phylogeny: The relationships of groups of organisms as reflected by their genetic makeup.Biodiversity: The variety of all native living organisms and their various forms and interrelationships.HIV Antibodies: Antibodies reactive with HIV ANTIGENS.Epitopes: Sites on an antigen that interact with specific antibodies.Antibodies, Protozoan: Immunoglobulins produced in a response to PROTOZOAN ANTIGENS.Antibodies, Neoplasm: Immunoglobulins induced by antigens specific for tumors other than the normally occurring HISTOCOMPATIBILITY ANTIGENS.Antibodies, Antinuclear: Autoantibodies directed against various nuclear antigens including DNA, RNA, histones, acidic nuclear proteins, or complexes of these molecular elements. Antinuclear antibodies are found in systemic autoimmune diseases including systemic lupus erythematosus, Sjogren's syndrome, scleroderma, polymyositis, and mixed connective tissue disease.Cross Reactions: Serological reactions in which an antiserum against one antigen reacts with a non-identical but closely related antigen.Sequence Analysis, DNA: A multistage process that includes cloning, physical mapping, subcloning, determination of the DNA SEQUENCE, and information analysis.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.Autoantibodies: Antibodies that react with self-antigens (AUTOANTIGENS) of the organism that produced them.Antibodies, Fungal: Immunoglobulins produced in a response to FUNGAL ANTIGENS.Neutralization Tests: The measurement of infection-blocking titer of ANTISERA by testing a series of dilutions for a given virus-antiserum interaction end-point, which is generally the dilution at which tissue cultures inoculated with the serum-virus mixtures demonstrate cytopathology (CPE) or the dilution at which 50% of test animals injected with serum-virus mixtures show infectivity (ID50) or die (LD50).Species Specificity: The restriction of a characteristic behavior, anatomical structure or physical system, such as immune response; metabolic response, or gene or gene variant to the members of one species. It refers to that property which differentiates one species from another but it is also used for phylogenetic levels higher or lower than the species.Antigen-Antibody Reactions: The processes triggered by interactions of ANTIBODIES with their ANTIGENS.Antibodies, Bispecific: Antibodies, often monoclonal, in which the two antigen-binding sites are specific for separate ANTIGENIC DETERMINANTS. They are artificial antibodies produced by chemical crosslinking, fusion of HYBRIDOMA cells, or by molecular genetic techniques. They function as the main mediators of targeted cellular cytotoxicity and have been shown to be efficient in the targeting of drugs, toxins, radiolabeled haptens, and effector cells to diseased tissue, primarily tumors.Mice, Inbred BALB CSingle-Chain Antibodies: A form of antibodies consisting only of the variable regions of the heavy and light chains (FV FRAGMENTS), connected by a small linker peptide. They are less immunogenic than complete immunoglobulin and thus have potential therapeutic use.Antibodies, Blocking: Antibodies that inhibit the reaction between ANTIGEN and other antibodies or sensitized T-LYMPHOCYTES (e.g., antibodies of the IMMUNOGLOBULIN G class that compete with IGE antibodies for antigen, thereby blocking an allergic response). Blocking antibodies that bind tumors and prevent destruction of tumor cells by CYTOTOXIC T-LYMPHOCYTES have also been called enhancing antibodies. (Rosen et al., Dictionary of Immunology, 1989)Immunoglobulin G: The major immunoglobulin isotype class in normal human serum. There are several isotype subclasses of IgG, for example, IgG1, IgG2A, and IgG2B.Antigen-Antibody Complex: The complex formed by the binding of antigen and antibody molecules. The deposition of large antigen-antibody complexes leading to tissue damage causes IMMUNE COMPLEX DISEASES.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.Cultural Diversity: Coexistence of numerous distinct ethnic, racial, religious, or cultural groups within one social unit, organization, or population. (From American Heritage Dictionary, 2d college ed., 1982, p955)