Lerner, Richard A. Skaggs Institute for Chemical Biology, and Department of Molecular Biology, Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, California.
Shabat, Doron Skaggs Institute for Chemical Biology, and Department of Molecular Biology, Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, California.
Last reviewed:October 2019
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A type of large protein naturally produced by the immune system with the capability of initiating diverse chemical reactions similarly to enzymes. Catalytic antibodies are elicited against small molecules that are bound to carrier proteins and contain a specific binding site. In their native form, they are constructed of two pairs of polypeptide chains that differ in length and are connected to each other by disulfide bridges. Various antibody molecules share a common structure (Fig. 1), but they differ in the N-terminal regions of antibody light and heavy chains, which are responsible for antigen recognition. These regions vary greatly in the sequence and number of their constituent amino acids and therefore provide an enormous diversity of antigen-binding domains. See also: Antibody; Antigen; Antigen-antibody reaction; Enzyme; Immunity; Protein
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