The heavy chain of rabbit immunoglobulin G exists in three major allotypic patterns, Aa1–Aa3. A comparison of the amino acid compositions of the heavy chains isolated from immunoglobulin IgG homozygous for each allotypic determinant revealed the presence of an additional methionine residue per chain in the Aa3 allotype relative to the Aa1 and Aa2 allotypes. The position of the additional methionine residue was determined by cyanogen bromide cleavage and by tryptic digestion of the γ-chains; it coincided with the inter-Fd–Fc area of the chain. Isolation and characterization of the corresponding tryptic peptides of 31 amino acid residues from each of the allotypes showed the presence of a methionine-for-threonine replacement in the Aa3 allotype, but only in about 70–80% of the molecules. No other allotypic variations were seen in this tryptic peptide. Allotypically related variations in composition were also detected in the N-terminal cyanogen bromide-cleavage peptide.
- © 1968 The Biochemical Society