chapter  15
32 Pages

Recombinant Antibodies

References ..................................................................................................................................... 380

Antibodies are specific proteins, termed immunoglobulins, which are produced by B cells under stimulation by antigens. The main function of the specific immune response is recognition of foreign antigens. Two types of molecules participate in the recognition: immunoglobulins and T-cell receptors. B cells specifically produce immunoglobulins. These proteins may be expressed in the form of integral membrane proteins on the surface of B lymphocytes. Alternatively, they may be secreted into the bloodstream by plasma cells. This soluble form of immunoglobulins is what the immunologists call the antibodies. Each antibody carries two functions. The main and primary

function of antibody is binding to antigen. This interaction with antigen may lead directly to such effects as neutralizing the bacterial toxin or preventing the virus invasion into the cells. The interaction of antibody with antigen frequently results in effects mediated by the antibody secondary or effector functions. Effector functions of antibodies include complement system activation, selective interaction with different cell surface receptors, etc. One part of the antibody molecule is responsible for the interaction with antigen, while another part realizes the effector functions [1,2].