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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.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 Switch Region: A site located in the INTRONS at the 5' end of each constant region segment of a immunoglobulin heavy-chain gene where recombination (or rearrangement) occur during IMMUNOGLOBULIN CLASS SWITCHING. Ig switch regions are found on genes encoding all five classes (IMMUNOGLOBULIN ISOTYPES) of IMMUNOGLOBULIN HEAVY CHAINS.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.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.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.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).gamma-Globulins: Serum globulins that migrate to the gamma region (most positively charged) upon ELECTROPHORESIS. At one time, gamma-globulins came to be used as a synonym for immunoglobulins since most immunoglobulins are gamma globulins and conversely most gamma globulins are immunoglobulins. But since some immunoglobulins exhibit an alpha or beta electrophoretic mobility, that usage is in decline.Hyper-IgM Immunodeficiency Syndrome: A rare inherited immunodeficiency syndrome characterized by normal or elevated serum IMMUNOGLOBULIN M levels with absence of IMMUNOGLOBULIN G; IMMUNOGLOBULIN A; and IMMUNOGLOBULIN E. It results in a profound susceptibility to BACTERIAL INFECTIONS and an increased susceptibility to OPPORTUNISTIC INFECTIONS. Several subtypes of hyper-IgM immunodeficiency syndrome exist depending upon the location of genetic mutation.Immunoglobulin E: An immunoglobulin associated with MAST CELLS. Overexpression has been associated with allergic hypersensitivity (HYPERSENSITIVITY, IMMEDIATE).Cytidine Deaminase: An enzyme that catalyzes the deamination of cytidine, forming uridine. EC 3.5.4.5.Immunoglobulin D: An immunoglobulin which accounts for less than 1% of plasma immunoglobulin. It is found on the membrane of many circulating B LYMPHOCYTES.Immunoglobulin Constant Regions: The domains of the immunoglobulin molecules that are invariable in their amino acid sequence within any class or subclass of immunoglobulin. They confer biological as well as structural functions to immunoglobulins. One each on both the light chains and the heavy chains comprises the C-terminus half of the IMMUNOGLOBULIN FAB FRAGMENT and two or three of them make up the rest of the heavy chains (all of the IMMUNOGLOBULIN FC FRAGMENT)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.Somatic Hypermutation, Immunoglobulin: A programmed mutation process whereby changes are introduced to the nucleotide sequence of immunoglobulin gene DNA during development.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.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.Antibody Formation: The production of ANTIBODIES by proliferating and differentiated B-LYMPHOCYTES under stimulation by ANTIGENS.Myeloma Proteins: Abnormal immunoglobulins characteristic of MULTIPLE MYELOMA.Immunoglobulin delta-Chains: The class of heavy chains found in IMMUNOGLOBULIN D. They have a molecular weight of approximately 64 kDa and they contain about 500 amino acid residues arranged in four domains and an oligosaccharide component covalently bound to the Fc fragment constant region.Antibodies, Bacterial: Immunoglobulins produced in a response to BACTERIAL ANTIGENS.Immunoelectrophoresis: A technique that combines protein electrophoresis and double immunodiffusion. In this procedure proteins are first separated by gel electrophoresis (usually agarose), then made visible by immunodiffusion of specific antibodies. A distinct elliptical precipitin arc results for each protein detectable by the antisera.Immunoglobulin kappa-Chains: One of the types of light chains of the immunoglobulins with a molecular weight of approximately 22 kDa.Recombination, Genetic: Production of new arrangements of DNA by various mechanisms such as assortment and segregation, CROSSING OVER; GENE CONVERSION; GENETIC TRANSFORMATION; GENETIC CONJUGATION; GENETIC TRANSDUCTION; or mixed infection of viruses.Immunologic Deficiency Syndromes: Syndromes in which there is a deficiency or defect in the mechanisms of immunity, either cellular or humoral.Immunodiffusion: Technique involving the diffusion of antigen or antibody through a semisolid medium, usually agar or agarose gel, with the result being a precipitin reaction.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.Dysgammaglobulinemia: An immunologic deficiency state characterized by selective deficiencies of one or more, but not all, classes of immunoglobulins.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.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.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.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.Spleen: An encapsulated lymphatic organ through which venous blood filters.HemocyaninIgG Deficiency: A dysgammaglobulinemia characterized by a deficiency of IMMUNOGLOBULIN G.Antibodies, Anti-Idiotypic: Antibodies which react with the individual structural determinants (idiotopes) on the variable region of other antibodies.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.Base Sequence: The sequence of PURINES and PYRIMIDINES in nucleic acids and polynucleotides. It is also called nucleotide sequence.Hypergammaglobulinemia: An excess of GAMMA-GLOBULINS in the serum due to chronic infections or PARAPROTEINEMIAS.Immunoglobulin lambda-Chains: One of the types of light chain subunits of the immunoglobulins with a molecular weight of approximately 22 kDa.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).DNA End-Joining Repair: The repair of DOUBLE-STRAND DNA BREAKS by rejoining the broken ends of DNA to each other directly.Plasma Cells: Specialized forms of antibody-producing B-LYMPHOCYTES. They synthesize and secrete immunoglobulin. They are found only in lymphoid organs and at sites of immune responses and normally do not circulate in the blood or lymph. (Rosen et al., Dictionary of Immunology, 1989, p169 & Abbas et al., Cellular and Molecular Immunology, 2d ed, p20)Immune Sera: Serum that contains antibodies. It is obtained from an animal that has been immunized either by ANTIGEN injection or infection with microorganisms containing the antigen.Hemagglutination Tests: Sensitive tests to measure certain antigens, antibodies, or viruses, using their ability to agglutinate certain erythrocytes. (From Stedman, 26th ed)DNA Breaks, Double-Stranded: Interruptions in the sugar-phosphate backbone of DNA, across both strands adjacently.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.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.Antibodies, Viral: Immunoglobulins produced in response to VIRAL ANTIGENS.Uracil-DNA Glycosidase: An enzyme that catalyzes the HYDROLYSIS of the N-glycosidic bond between sugar phosphate backbone and URACIL residue during DNA synthesis.Antigen-Antibody Reactions: The processes triggered by interactions of ANTIBODIES with their ANTIGENS.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.Autoantibodies: Antibodies that react with self-antigens (AUTOANTIGENS) of the organism that produced them.Germinal Center: The activated center of a lymphoid follicle in secondary lymphoid tissue where B-LYMPHOCYTES are stimulated by antigens and helper T cells (T-LYMPHOCYTES, HELPER-INDUCER) are stimulated to generate memory cells.Mice, Inbred BALB CImmunization: Deliberate stimulation of the host's immune response. ACTIVE IMMUNIZATION involves administration of ANTIGENS or IMMUNOLOGIC ADJUVANTS. PASSIVE IMMUNIZATION involves administration of IMMUNE SERA or LYMPHOCYTES or their extracts (e.g., transfer factor, immune RNA) or transplantation of immunocompetent cell producing tissue (thymus or bone marrow).Antigens: Substances that are recognized by the immune system and induce an immune reaction.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.Antibodies, Monoclonal: Antibodies produced by a single clone of cells.T-Lymphocytes: Lymphocytes responsible for cell-mediated immunity. Two types have been identified - cytotoxic (T-LYMPHOCYTES, CYTOTOXIC) and helper T-lymphocytes (T-LYMPHOCYTES, HELPER-INDUCER). They are formed when lymphocytes circulate through the THYMUS GLAND and differentiate to thymocytes. When exposed to an antigen, they divide rapidly and produce large numbers of new T cells sensitized to that antigen.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.Complement System Proteins: Serum glycoproteins participating in the host defense mechanism of COMPLEMENT ACTIVATION that creates the COMPLEMENT MEMBRANE ATTACK COMPLEX. Included are glycoproteins in the various pathways of complement activation (CLASSICAL COMPLEMENT PATHWAY; ALTERNATIVE COMPLEMENT PATHWAY; and LECTIN COMPLEMENT PATHWAY).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).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.Agglutination Tests: Tests that are dependent on the clumping of cells, microorganisms, or particles when mixed with specific antiserum. (From Stedman, 26th ed)Haptens: Small antigenic determinants capable of eliciting an immune response only when coupled to a carrier. Haptens bind to antibodies but by themselves cannot elicit an antibody response.Mice, Inbred C57BLImmunoglobulin 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.B-Lymphocyte Subsets: A classification of B-lymphocytes based on structurally or functionally different populations of cells.Rabbits: The species Oryctolagus cuniculus, in the family Leporidae, order LAGOMORPHA. Rabbits are born in burrows, furless, and with eyes and ears closed. In contrast with HARES, rabbits have 22 chromosome pairs.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)Lymphocyte Activation: Morphologic alteration of small B LYMPHOCYTES or T LYMPHOCYTES in culture into large blast-like cells able to synthesize DNA and RNA and to divide mitotically. It is induced by INTERLEUKINS; MITOGENS such as PHYTOHEMAGGLUTININS, and by specific ANTIGENS. It may also occur in vivo as in GRAFT REJECTION.Histocompatibility Antigens Class I: Membrane glycoproteins consisting of an alpha subunit and a BETA 2-MICROGLOBULIN beta subunit. In humans, highly polymorphic genes on CHROMOSOME 6 encode the alpha subunits of class I antigens and play an important role in determining the serological specificity of the surface antigen. Class I antigens are found on most nucleated cells and are generally detected by their reactivity with alloantisera. These antigens are recognized during GRAFT REJECTION and restrict cell-mediated lysis of virus-infected cells.Antigens, Bacterial: Substances elaborated by bacteria that have antigenic activity.Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic: A chronic, relapsing, inflammatory, and often febrile multisystemic disorder of connective tissue, characterized principally by involvement of the skin, joints, kidneys, and serosal membranes. It is of unknown etiology, but is thought to represent a failure of the regulatory mechanisms of the autoimmune system. The disease is marked by a wide range of system dysfunctions, an elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rate, and the formation of LE cells in the blood or bone marrow.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.CD40 Ligand: A membrane glycoprotein and differentiation antigen expressed on the surface of T-cells that binds to CD40 ANTIGENS on B-LYMPHOCYTES and induces their proliferation. Mutation of the gene for CD40 ligand is a cause of HYPER-IGM IMMUNODEFICIENCY SYNDROME, TYPE 1.Histocompatibility Antigens Class II: Large, transmembrane, non-covalently linked glycoproteins (alpha and beta). Both chains can be polymorphic although there is more structural variation in the beta chains. The class II antigens in humans are called HLA-D ANTIGENS and are coded by a gene on chromosome 6. In mice, two genes named IA and IE on chromosome 17 code for the H-2 antigens. The antigens are found on B-lymphocytes, macrophages, epidermal cells, and sperm and are thought to mediate the competence of and cellular cooperation in the immune response. The term IA antigens used to refer only to the proteins encoded by the IA genes in the mouse, but is now used as a generic term for any class II histocompatibility antigen.Cell Line: Established cell cultures that have the potential to propagate indefinitely.Interleukin-4: A soluble factor produced by activated T-LYMPHOCYTES that induces the expression of MHC CLASS II GENES and FC RECEPTORS on B-LYMPHOCYTES and causes their proliferation and differentiation. It also acts on T-lymphocytes, MAST CELLS, and several other hematopoietic lineage cells.Mice, Inbred Strains: Genetically identical individuals developed from brother and sister matings which have been carried out for twenty or more generations, or by parent x offspring matings carried out with certain restrictions. All animals within an inbred strain trace back to a common ancestor in the twentieth generation.Antigens, CD40: A member of the tumor necrosis factor receptor superfamily with specificity for CD40 LIGAND. It is found on mature B-LYMPHOCYTES and some EPITHELIAL CELLS, lymphoid DENDRITIC CELLS. Evidence suggests that CD40-dependent activation of B-cells is important for generation of memory B-cells within the germinal centers. Mutations of the gene for CD40 antigen result in HYPER-IGM IMMUNODEFICIENCY SYNDROME, TYPE 3. Signaling of the receptor occurs through its association with TNF RECEPTOR-ASSOCIATED FACTORS.Chromatography, Gel: Chromatography on non-ionic gels without regard to the mechanism of solute discrimination.Epitopes: Sites on an antigen that interact with specific antibodies.Flow Cytometry: Technique using an instrument system for making, processing, and displaying one or more measurements on individual cells obtained from a cell suspension. Cells are usually stained with one or more fluorescent dyes specific to cell components of interest, e.g., DNA, and fluorescence of each cell is measured as it rapidly transverses the excitation beam (laser or mercury arc lamp). Fluorescence provides a quantitative measure of various biochemical and biophysical properties of the cell, as well as a basis for cell sorting. Other measurable optical parameters include light absorption and light scattering, the latter being applicable to the measurement of cell size, shape, density, granularity, and stain uptake.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.Mutation: Any detectable and heritable change in the genetic material that causes a change in the GENOTYPE and which is transmitted to daughter cells and to succeeding generations.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).Cells, Cultured: Cells propagated in vitro in special media conducive to their growth. Cultured cells are used to study developmental, morphologic, metabolic, physiologic, and genetic processes, among others.Plasmacytoma: Any discrete, presumably solitary, mass of neoplastic PLASMA CELLS either in BONE MARROW or various extramedullary sites.DNA-Binding Proteins: Proteins which bind to DNA. The family includes proteins which bind to both double- and single-stranded DNA and also includes specific DNA binding proteins in serum which can be used as markers for malignant diseases.Mice, Knockout: Strains of mice in which certain GENES of their GENOMES have been disrupted, or "knocked-out". To produce knockouts, using RECOMBINANT DNA technology, the normal DNA sequence of the gene being studied is altered to prevent synthesis of a normal gene product. Cloned cells in which this DNA alteration is successful are then injected into mouse EMBRYOS to produce chimeric mice. The chimeric mice are then bred to yield a strain in which all the cells of the mouse contain the disrupted gene. Knockout mice are used as EXPERIMENTAL ANIMAL MODELS for diseases (DISEASE MODELS, ANIMAL) and to clarify the functions of the genes.DNA Repair: The reconstruction of a continuous two-stranded DNA molecule without mismatch from a molecule which contained damaged regions. The major repair mechanisms are excision repair, in which defective regions in one strand are excised and resynthesized using the complementary base pairing information in the intact strand; photoreactivation repair, in which the lethal and mutagenic effects of ultraviolet light are eliminated; and post-replication repair, in which the primary lesions are not repaired, but the gaps in one daughter duplex are filled in by incorporation of portions of the other (undamaged) daughter duplex. Excision repair and post-replication repair are sometimes referred to as "dark repair" because they do not require light.Immunoglobulin alpha-Chains: The class of heavy chains found in IMMUNOGLOBULIN A. They have a molecular weight of approximately 58 kDa and contain about 470 amino acid residues arranged in four domains and an oligosaccharide component bound covalently to their Fc fragment constant region.Time Factors: Elements of limited time intervals, contributing to particular results or situations.Immunoglobulin Idiotypes: Unique genetically-controlled determinants present on ANTIBODIES whose specificity is limited to a single group of proteins (e.g., another antibody molecule or an individual myeloma protein). The idiotype appears to represent the antigenicity of the antigen-binding site of the antibody and to be genetically codetermined with it. The idiotypic determinants have been precisely located to the IMMUNOGLOBULIN VARIABLE REGION of both immunoglobin polypeptide chains.Lipopolysaccharides: Lipid-containing polysaccharides which are endotoxins and important group-specific antigens. They are often derived from the cell wall of gram-negative bacteria and induce immunoglobulin secretion. The lipopolysaccharide molecule consists of three parts: LIPID A, core polysaccharide, and O-specific chains (O ANTIGENS). When derived from Escherichia coli, lipopolysaccharides serve as polyclonal B-cell mitogens commonly used in laboratory immunology. (From Dorland, 28th ed)Secretory Component: The extracellular moiety of the POLYMERIC IMMUNOGLOBULIN RECEPTOR found alone or complexed with IGA or IGM, in a variety of external secretions (tears, bile, colostrum.) Secretory component is derived by proteolytic cleavage of the receptor during transcytosis. When immunoglobulins IgA and IgM are bound to the receptor, during their transcytosis secretory component becomes covalently attached to them generating SECRETORY IMMUNOGLOBULIN A or secretory IMMUNOGLOBULIN M.Agammaglobulinemia: An immunologic deficiency state characterized by an extremely low level of generally all classes of gamma-globulin in the blood.Receptors, Fc: Molecules found on the surface of some, but not all, B-lymphocytes, T-lymphocytes, and macrophages, which recognize and combine with the Fc (crystallizable) portion of immunoglobulin molecules.Immunoglobulin Gm Allotypes: Allelic variants of the gamma-immunoglobulin heavy chain (IMMUNOGLOBULIN GAMMA-CHAINS) encoded by ALLELES of IMMUNOGLOBULIN HEAVY CHAIN GENES.Colostrum: The thin, yellow, serous fluid secreted by the mammary glands during pregnancy and immediately postpartum before lactation begins. It consists of immunologically active substances, white blood cells, water, protein, fat, and carbohydrates.Immunization, Passive: Transfer of immunity from immunized to non-immune host by administration of serum antibodies, or transplantation of lymphocytes (ADOPTIVE TRANSFER).Gene Rearrangement, B-Lymphocyte, Heavy Chain: Ordered rearrangement of B-lymphocyte variable gene regions of the IMMUNOGLOBULIN HEAVY CHAINS, thereby contributing to antibody diversity. It occurs during the first stage of differentiation of the IMMATURE B-LYMPHOCYTES.Gene Rearrangement, B-Lymphocyte: Ordered rearrangement of B-lymphocyte variable gene regions coding for the IMMUNOGLOBULIN CHAINS, thereby contributing to antibody diversity. It occurs during the differentiation of the IMMATURE B-LYMPHOCYTES.Hybridomas: Cells artificially created by fusion of activated lymphocytes with neoplastic cells. The resulting hybrid cells are cloned and produce pure MONOCLONAL ANTIBODIES or T-cell products, identical to those produced by the immunologically competent parent cell.Staphylococcal Protein A: A protein present in the cell wall of most Staphylococcus aureus strains. The protein selectively binds to the Fc region of human normal and myeloma-derived IMMUNOGLOBULIN G. It elicits antibody activity and may cause hypersensitivity reactions due to histamine release; has also been used as cell surface antigen marker and in the clinical assessment of B lymphocyte function.Lymphocytes: White blood cells formed in the body's lymphoid tissue. The nucleus is round or ovoid with coarse, irregularly clumped chromatin while the cytoplasm is typically pale blue with azurophilic (if any) granules. Most lymphocytes can be classified as either T or B (with subpopulations of each), or NATURAL KILLER CELLS.Immunoglobulin epsilon-Chains: The class of heavy chains found in IMMUNOGLOBULIN E. They have a molecular weight of approximately 72 kDa and they contain about 550 amino acid residues arranged in five domains and about three times more carbohydrate than the heavy chains of IMMUNOGLOBULIN A; IMMUNOGLOBULIN D; and IMMUNOGLOBULIN G.Genes, Immunoglobulin Light Chain: Genes and gene segments encoding the IMMUNOGLOBULIN LIGHT CHAINS. Gene segments of the light chain genes are designated as V (variable), J (joining), and C (constant).Cross Reactions: Serological reactions in which an antiserum against one antigen reacts with a non-identical but closely related antigen.Cloning, Molecular: The insertion of recombinant DNA molecules from prokaryotic and/or eukaryotic sources into a replicating vehicle, such as a plasmid or virus vector, and the introduction of the resultant hybrid molecules into recipient cells without altering the viability of those cells.Gene Rearrangement: The ordered rearrangement of gene regions by DNA recombination such as that which occurs normally during development.IgA Deficiency: A dysgammaglobulinemia characterized by a deficiency of IMMUNOGLOBULIN A.Gene Rearrangement, B-Lymphocyte, Light Chain: Ordered rearrangement of B-lymphocyte variable gene regions coding for the kappa or lambda IMMUNOGLOBULIN LIGHT CHAINS, thereby contributing to antibody diversity. It occurs during the second stage of differentiation of the IMMATURE B-LYMPHOCYTES.Receptors, IgG: Specific molecular sites on the surface of various cells, including B-lymphocytes and macrophages, that combine with IMMUNOGLOBULIN Gs. Three subclasses exist: Fc gamma RI (the CD64 antigen, a low affinity receptor), Fc gamma RII (the CD32 antigen, a high affinity receptor), and Fc gamma RIII (the CD16 antigen, a low affinity receptor).Pokeweed Mitogens: Proteins isolated from the roots of the pokeweed, Phytolacca americana, that agglutinate some erythrocytes, stimulate mitosis and antibody synthesis in lymphocytes, and induce activation of plasma cells.Protein Binding: The process in which substances, either endogenous or exogenous, bind to proteins, peptides, enzymes, protein precursors, or allied compounds. Specific protein-binding measures are often used as assays in diagnostic assessments.Immunoenzyme Techniques: Immunologic techniques based on the use of: (1) enzyme-antibody conjugates; (2) enzyme-antigen conjugates; (3) antienzyme antibody followed by its homologous enzyme; or (4) enzyme-antienzyme complexes. These are used histologically for visualizing or labeling tissue specimens.Antibodies, Protozoan: Immunoglobulins produced in a response to PROTOZOAN ANTIGENS.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.Immunoglobulins, Thyroid-Stimulating: Autoantibodies that bind to the thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) receptor (RECEPTORS, THYROTROPIN) on thyroid epithelial cells. The autoantibodies mimic TSH causing an unregulated production of thyroid hormones characteristic of GRAVES DISEASE.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.Polymerase Chain Reaction: In vitro method for producing large amounts of specific DNA or RNA fragments of defined length and sequence from small amounts of short oligonucleotide flanking sequences (primers). The essential steps include thermal denaturation of the double-stranded target molecules, annealing of the primers to their complementary sequences, and extension of the annealed primers by enzymatic synthesis with DNA polymerase. The reaction is efficient, specific, and extremely sensitive. Uses for the reaction include disease diagnosis, detection of difficult-to-isolate pathogens, mutation analysis, genetic testing, DNA sequencing, and analyzing evolutionary relationships.Antibody-Producing Cells: Cells of the lymphoid series that can react with antigen to produce specific cell products called antibodies. Various cell subpopulations, often B-lymphocytes, can be defined, based on the different classes of immunoglobulins that they synthesize.Recombinant Proteins: Proteins prepared by recombinant DNA technology.Antigens, Surface: Antigens on surfaces of cells, including infectious or foreign cells or viruses. They are usually protein-containing groups on cell membranes or walls and may be isolated.Paraproteinemias: A group of related diseases characterized by an unbalanced or disproportionate proliferation of immunoglobulin-producing cells, usually from a single clone. These cells frequently secrete a structurally homogeneous immunoglobulin (M-component) and/or an abnormal immunoglobulin.Bence Jones Protein: An abnormal protein with unusual thermosolubility characteristics that is found in the urine of patients with MULTIPLE MYELOMA.Multiple Myeloma: A malignancy of mature PLASMA CELLS engaging in monoclonal immunoglobulin production. It is characterized by hyperglobulinemia, excess Bence-Jones proteins (free monoclonal IMMUNOGLOBULIN LIGHT CHAINS) in the urine, skeletal destruction, bone pain, and fractures. Other features include ANEMIA; HYPERCALCEMIA; and RENAL INSUFFICIENCY.Rheumatoid Factor: Antibodies found in adult RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS patients that are directed against GAMMA-CHAIN IMMUNOGLOBULINS.Antigens, CD: Differentiation antigens residing on mammalian leukocytes. CD stands for cluster of differentiation, which refers to groups of monoclonal antibodies that show similar reactivity with certain subpopulations of antigens of a particular lineage or differentiation stage. The subpopulations of antigens are also known by the same CD designation.Saliva: The clear, viscous fluid secreted by the SALIVARY GLANDS and mucous glands of the mouth. It contains MUCINS, water, organic salts, and ptylin.Immunoglobulin Km Allotypes: Allelic variants of the kappa light chains (IMMUNOGLOBULIN KAPPA-CHAINS) encoded by ALLELES of IMMUNOGLOBULIN LIGHT CHAIN GENES.Complement C3: A glycoprotein that is central in both the classical and the alternative pathway of COMPLEMENT ACTIVATION. C3 can be cleaved into COMPLEMENT C3A and COMPLEMENT C3B, spontaneously at low level or by C3 CONVERTASE at high level. The smaller fragment C3a is an ANAPHYLATOXIN and mediator of local inflammatory process. The larger fragment C3b binds with C3 convertase to form C5 convertase.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.Serologic Tests: Diagnostic procedures involving immunoglobulin reactions.RNA, Messenger: RNA sequences that serve as templates for protein synthesis. Bacterial mRNAs are generally primary transcripts in that they do not require post-transcriptional processing. Eukaryotic mRNA is synthesized in the nucleus and must be exported to the cytoplasm for translation. Most eukaryotic mRNAs have a sequence of polyadenylic acid at the 3' end, referred to as the poly(A) tail. The function of this tail is not known for certain, but it may play a role in the export of mature mRNA from the nucleus as well as in helping stabilize some mRNA molecules by retarding their degradation in the cytoplasm.Lymphoma: A general term for various neoplastic diseases of the lymphoid tissue.Clone Cells: A group of genetically identical cells all descended from a single common ancestral cell by mitosis in eukaryotes or by binary fission in prokaryotes. Clone cells also include populations of recombinant DNA molecules all carrying the same inserted sequence. (From King & Stansfield, Dictionary of Genetics, 4th ed)Antigens, Differentiation, B-Lymphocyte: Membrane antigens associated with maturation stages of B-lymphocytes, often expressed in tumors of B-cell origin.Paraproteins: Abnormal immunoglobulins synthesized by atypical cells of the MONONUCLEAR PHAGOCYTE SYSTEM. Paraproteins containing only light chains lead to Bence Jones paraproteinemia, while the presence of only atypical heavy chains leads to heavy chain disease. Most of the paraproteins show themselves as an M-component (monoclonal gammopathy) in electrophoresis. Diclonal and polyclonal paraproteins are much less frequently encountered.Peptides: Members of the class of compounds composed of AMINO ACIDS joined together by peptide bonds between adjacent amino acids into linear, branched or cyclical structures. OLIGOPEPTIDES are composed of approximately 2-12 amino acids. Polypeptides are composed of approximately 13 or more amino acids. PROTEINS are linear polypeptides that are normally synthesized on RIBOSOMES.Binding Sites: The parts of a macromolecule that directly participate in its specific combination with another molecule.Receptors, Immunologic: Cell surface molecules on cells of the immune system that specifically bind surface molecules or messenger molecules and trigger changes in the behavior of cells. Although these receptors were first identified in the immune system, many have important functions elsewhere.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.Kinetics: The rate dynamics in chemical or physical systems.Molecular Weight: The sum of the weight of all the atoms in a molecule.Leukemia, Lymphoid: Leukemia associated with HYPERPLASIA of the lymphoid tissues and increased numbers of circulating malignant LYMPHOCYTES and lymphoblasts.Bacterial Vaccines: Suspensions of attenuated or killed bacteria administered for the prevention or treatment of infectious bacterial disease.Sequence Homology, Amino Acid: The degree of similarity between sequences of amino acids. This information is useful for the analyzing genetic relatedness of proteins and species.Antigen Presentation: The process by which antigen is presented to lymphocytes in a form they can recognize. This is performed by antigen presenting cells (APCs). Some antigens require processing before they can be recognized. Antigen processing consists of ingestion and partial digestion of the antigen by the APC, followed by presentation of fragments on the cell surface. (From Rosen et al., Dictionary of Immunology, 1989)Sensitivity and Specificity: Binary classification measures to assess test results. Sensitivity or recall rate is the proportion of true positives. Specificity is the probability of correctly determining the absence of a condition. (From Last, Dictionary of Epidemiology, 2d ed)Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel: Electrophoresis in which a polyacrylamide gel is used as the diffusion medium.Recombinant Fusion Proteins: Recombinant proteins produced by the GENETIC TRANSLATION of fused genes formed by the combination of NUCLEIC ACID REGULATORY SEQUENCES of one or more genes with the protein coding sequences of one or more genes.Lymphoma, B-Cell: A group of heterogeneous lymphoid tumors generally expressing one or more B-cell antigens or representing malignant transformations of B-lymphocytes.Immunoassay: A technique using antibodies for identifying or quantifying a substance. Usually the substance being studied serves as antigen both in antibody production and in measurement of antibody by the test substance.Waldenstrom Macroglobulinemia: A lymphoproliferative disorder characterized by pleomorphic B-LYMPHOCYTES including PLASMA CELLS, with increased levels of monoclonal serum IMMUNOGLOBULIN M. There is lymphoplasmacytic cells infiltration into bone marrow and often other tissues, also known as lymphoplasmacytic lymphoma. Clinical features include ANEMIA; HEMORRHAGES; and hyperviscosity.Receptors, IgE: Specific molecular sites on the surface of B- and T-lymphocytes which combine with IgEs. Two subclasses exist: low affinity receptors (Fc epsilon RII) and high affinity receptors (Fc epsilon RI).Social Class: A stratum of people with similar position and prestige; includes social stratification. Social class is measured by criteria such as education, occupation, and income.Complement Fixation Tests: Serologic tests based on inactivation of complement by the antigen-antibody complex (stage 1). Binding of free complement can be visualized by addition of a second antigen-antibody system such as red cells and appropriate red cell antibody (hemolysin) requiring complement for its completion (stage 2). Failure of the red cells to lyse indicates that a specific antigen-antibody reaction has taken place in stage 1. If red cells lyse, free complement is present indicating no antigen-antibody reaction occurred in stage 1.Common Variable Immunodeficiency: Heterogeneous group of immunodeficiency syndromes characterized by hypogammaglobulinemia of most isotypes, variable B-cell defects, and the presence of recurrent bacterial infections.Opsonin Proteins: Proteins that bind to particles and cells to increase susceptibility to PHAGOCYTOSIS, especially ANTIBODIES bound to EPITOPES that attach to FC RECEPTORS. COMPLEMENT C3B may also participate.Dose-Response Relationship, Immunologic: A specific immune response elicited by a specific dose of an immunologically active substance or cell in an organism, tissue, or cell.Rubella virus: The type (and only) species of RUBIVIRUS causing acute infection in humans, primarily children and young adults. Humans are the only natural host. A live, attenuated vaccine is available for prophylaxis.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).Bacterial Proteins: Proteins found in any species of bacterium.Sequence Alignment: The arrangement of two or more amino acid or base sequences from an organism or organisms in such a way as to align areas of the sequences sharing common properties. The degree of relatedness or homology between the sequences is predicted computationally or statistically based on weights assigned to the elements aligned between the sequences. This in turn can serve as a potential indicator of the genetic relatedness between the organisms.Enhancer Elements, Genetic: Cis-acting DNA sequences which can increase transcription of genes. Enhancers can usually function in either orientation and at various distances from a promoter.Antibodies, Fungal: Immunoglobulins produced in a response to FUNGAL ANTIGENS.Interferon-gamma: The major interferon produced by mitogenically or antigenically stimulated LYMPHOCYTES. It is structurally different from TYPE I INTERFERON and its major activity is immunoregulation. It has been implicated in the expression of CLASS II HISTOCOMPATIBILITY ANTIGENS in cells that do not normally produce them, leading to AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES.Alleles: Variant forms of the same gene, occupying the same locus on homologous CHROMOSOMES, and governing the variants in production of the same gene product.Gene Expression Regulation: Any of the processes by which nuclear, cytoplasmic, or intercellular factors influence the differential control (induction or repression) of gene action at the level of transcription or translation.Immunity, Mucosal: Nonsusceptibility to the pathogenic effects of foreign microorganisms or antigenic substances as a result of antibody secretions of the mucous membranes. Mucosal epithelia in the gastrointestinal, respiratory, and reproductive tracts produce a form of IgA (IMMUNOGLOBULIN A, SECRETORY) that serves to protect these ports of entry into the body.Mice, Transgenic: Laboratory mice that have been produced from a genetically manipulated EGG or EMBRYO, MAMMALIAN.Glomerulonephritis, IGA: A chronic form of glomerulonephritis characterized by deposits of predominantly IMMUNOGLOBULIN A in the mesangial area (GLOMERULAR MESANGIUM). Deposits of COMPLEMENT C3 and IMMUNOGLOBULIN G are also often found. Clinical features may progress from asymptomatic HEMATURIA to END-STAGE KIDNEY DISEASE.Phenotype: The outward appearance of the individual. It is the product of interactions between genes, and between the GENOTYPE and the environment.Immunity, Maternally-Acquired: Resistance to a disease-causing agent induced by the introduction of maternal immunity into the fetus by transplacental transfer or into the neonate through colostrum and milk.Membrane Glycoproteins: Glycoproteins found on the membrane or surface of cells.Transfection: The uptake of naked or purified DNA by CELLS, usually meaning the process as it occurs in eukaryotic cells. It is analogous to bacterial transformation (TRANSFORMATION, BACTERIAL) and both are routinely employed in GENE TRANSFER TECHNIQUES.Protein Structure, Tertiary: The level of protein structure in which combinations of secondary protein structures (alpha helices, beta sheets, loop regions, and motifs) pack together to form folded shapes called domains. Disulfide bridges between cysteines in two different parts of the polypeptide chain along with other interactions between the chains play a role in the formation and stabilization of tertiary structure. Small proteins usually consist of only one domain but larger proteins may contain a number of domains connected by segments of polypeptide chain which lack regular secondary structure.Peptide Fragments: Partial proteins formed by partial hydrolysis of complete proteins or generated through PROTEIN ENGINEERING techniques.Rho(D) Immune Globulin: Immunizing agent containing IMMUNOGLOBULIN G anti-Rho(D) used for preventing Rh immunization in Rh-negative individuals exposed to Rh-positive red blood cells.Cattle: Domesticated bovine animals of the genus Bos, usually kept on a farm or ranch and used for the production of meat or dairy products or for heavy labor.Tumor Cells, Cultured: Cells grown in vitro from neoplastic tissue. If they can be established as a TUMOR CELL LINE, they can be propagated in cell culture indefinitely.HLA Antigens: Antigens determined by leukocyte loci found on chromosome 6, the major histocompatibility loci in humans. They are polypeptides or glycoproteins found on most nucleated cells and platelets, determine tissue types for transplantation, and are associated with certain diseases.Models, Molecular: Models used experimentally or theoretically to study molecular shape, electronic properties, or interactions; includes analogous molecules, computer-generated graphics, and mechanical structures.Lymph Nodes: They are oval or bean shaped bodies (1 - 30 mm in diameter) located along the lymphatic system.Toxoplasmosis: The acquired form of infection by Toxoplasma gondii in animals and man.Cell Membrane: The lipid- and protein-containing, selectively permeable membrane that surrounds the cytoplasm in prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells.Antigens, Viral: Substances elaborated by viruses that have antigenic activity.Amyloidosis: A group of sporadic, familial and/or inherited, degenerative, and infectious disease processes, linked by the common theme of abnormal protein folding and deposition of AMYLOID. As the amyloid deposits enlarge they displace normal tissue structures, causing disruption of function. Various signs and symptoms depend on the location and size of the deposits.beta 2-Microglobulin: An 11-kDa protein associated with the outer membrane of many cells including lymphocytes. It is the small subunit of the MHC class I molecule. Association with beta 2-microglobulin is generally required for the transport of class I heavy chains from the endoplasmic reticulum to the cell surface. Beta 2-microglobulin is present in small amounts in serum, csf, and urine of normal people, and to a much greater degree in the urine and plasma of patients with tubular proteinemia, renal failure, or kidney transplants.Phagocytosis: The engulfing and degradation of microorganisms; other cells that are dead, dying, or pathogenic; and foreign particles by phagocytic cells (PHAGOCYTES).Autoimmune Diseases: Disorders that are characterized by the production of antibodies that react with host tissues or immune effector cells that are autoreactive to endogenous peptides.Immunologic Factors: Biologically active substances whose activities affect or play a role in the functioning of the immune system.