Antibody repertoire development in camelids.

TitleAntibody repertoire development in camelids.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2006
AuthorsDe Genst, E., D. Saerens, S. Muyldermans, and K. Conrath
JournalDev Comp Immunol
Date Published2006
KeywordsAnimals, B-Lymphocytes, Camelids, New World, Camels, Gene Rearrangement, Immunoglobulin Heavy Chains, Immunoglobulin Light Chains

The humoral immune response of the Camelidae is unique as these animals are the only known mammals that seem to possess functional homodimeric heavy-chain antibodies besides the classical heteromeric antibodies composed of heavy (H) and light (L) chains. By definition, the heavy-chain antibodies lack the L-chain, and it was noticed that their H-chain is devoid of the typical first constant domain (CH1) and contains a dedicated variable domain, referred to as VHH. The VHH exon is assembled from separate V-D-J gene segments. The recombined VHH region is subjected to somatic hypermutations; however, the timing and actual mechanism of the class switch from mu to the dedicated gamma-isotype remains elusive. Interestingly, antigen-specific VHHs are easily retrieved after panning of a phage-displayed rearranged V-gene pool cloned from an immunised camelid. These single-domain antigen binding entities possess a number of biophysical properties that offer particular advantages in various medical and biotechnological applications.

Alternate JournalDev. Comp. Immunol.
PubMed ID16051357