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The Fab/c fragment of IgG produced by cleavage at cyanocysteine residues.

Wines BD, Easterbrook-Smith SB

  • Journal Molecular immunology

  • Published 25 Sep 1991

  • Volume 28

  • ISSUE 8

  • Pagination 855-63

  • DOI 10.1016/0161-5890(91)90049-p


The intra- and inter-heavy chain disulfides of rabbit IgG were cleaved by mild reduction with either dithiothreitol or sulfite and cyanocysteines generated by treatment with either 2-nitro-5-thiocyanobenzoic acid or KCN, respectively. When cleavage occurs at a cyanocysteine residue in the hinge region of one heavy chain alone the Fab/c fragment is produced. Fab/c was also produced by papain digestion of IgG. Fab/c made by papain digestion was able to active complement in haemolytic assays; this activity was lost after cleavage of its accessible disulfide bonds. Fab/c made by cyanylysis of sulfite-reduced IgG was also active in these assays, but Fab/c made by cyanylysis of dithiothreitol-reduced IgG was not. Treatment of the latter fragment with cysteine and cystine resulted in partial reformation of cleaved disulfide bonds. Fab/c was also made from human IgG and from murine IgG2a and IgG2b.