The V region repertoire of the human antibody response to the type b capsular polysaccharide of Haemophilus influenzae (Hib-PS) is being defined at the molecular level using antibodies purified from serum of immunized adults. The VH of this response is restricted to the VHIII subgroup while the VL can be divided into two categories. The most common VL, expressed in >90% of adults and usually constituting the majority of a subjects anti-Hib-PS antibody response, is restricted to the product of a single VκII gene known as A2 that probably lacks somatic mutations. The product of the A2 gene is invariably joined to one of several JK products by an inserted arginine at the VκJκ junction. In contrast to the restricted nature of the dominant VL clonotype, the second category of VL constitutes a heterogeneous group of at least seven different VL gene products that often contain somatic mutations and generally exhibit crossreactivity with a related polysaccharide from E. coli. Elucidation of anti-Hib-PS V regions at the molecular level will permit examination of structure-function relationships among these clinically important antibodies and should make the V region repertoire to Hib-PS a useful model for studying human V gene responses.
- Haemophilus influenzae
- Variable regions