By E. R. Gold and D. B. Peacock (Auth.)
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Additional resources for Basic Immunology
41, where it can be seen that an antiserum to 2-aminobenzoic acid reacts strongly with 2-aminobenzenesulphonic acid, while the reciprocal cross-reaction is non-existent. The whole subject of cross-reactions is dealt with under a separate heading in Chapter 6 ; here we are concerned only to show how specificity can be expressed as a non-reciprocal crossreaction. This kind of situation is illustrated diagrammatically in Fig. 2 where antibody A can be seen to 'fit' antigen B, though less well than homologous antigen A, but antibody B is unable to form any sort of 'fit' with antigen A.
The effect of chemical denaturation is probably much the same, but it is the effect of chemical treatment and alteration falling far short of denaturation that is of so much interest to immunologists, since it has led to an understanding of the nature and scope of specificity in immunological reactions. Nitration and lodination Nitration and iodination were among the first methods to be used for introducing defined chemical groupings into proteins and observing the effect on specificity. The process is not one of denaturation but simply the substitution of hydrogen by new chemical groupings, leading to a partial or total loss of species specificity in the treated protein, depending on how far the reaction is allowed to proceed.
Antibodies to simple haptens can display a much sharper specificity ; for instance, antiserum to 3-aminobenzoic acid fails to react with a number of similar determinants (Table V, p. 40). Sometimes cross-reactions are quantitatively reciprocal, and equal amounts of antibody are found in precipitates with homologous and heterologous protein . That this is not always so is shown in Table VII, p. 41, where it can be seen that an antiserum to 2-aminobenzoic acid reacts strongly with 2-aminobenzenesulphonic acid, while the reciprocal cross-reaction is non-existent.
Basic Immunology by E. R. Gold and D. B. Peacock (Auth.)