Original Repository: Oregon State University. Library. Ava Helen and Linus Pauling Papers
Reproduced with permission of the Ava Helen and Linus Pauling Papers. Oregon State University Library.
Medical Subject Headings (MeSH):
How Antibodies and Enzymes Work
Properties of Antibodies
Sept. 26, 1941
During recent years there has been developed through the work of many investigations (Landsteiner, Heidelberger, Horrowitz,
Marrack, Stuart Mudd, and others) a general idea of the nature of immunological process. This has been extended into a detailed
picture of the structure and process of formation of antibodies by the application of our present knowledge of the structure
of molecules and the nature of intermolecular interactions.
My collaborators, Dr. Dan
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Campbell, Dr. David Pressman, and Mr. Carol Iheda[?], and I have now obtained quantitative experimental results along several
lines which support this picture.
We have found that trivalent and trivalent haptenes, similar to those used by Landsteiner and van der Scheer, give precipitates
with antibody-antigen molecular ratio close to 1. This and other results support the postulate that antibodies effective
in precipitin reaction are bivalent.
Precipitates have also been obtained between antiserum
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and azoproteins with an average of only two haptenes per molecule. It has also been found that haptenes can be attached by
azo groups to erythrocytes without hemolyzing the cells, and agglutination of cells has been produced with only about fifty
haptenes per cell.
It was predicted that antibodies could be manufactured outside the animal by
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a process of denaturing a protein and slowly denaturing it in the presence of antigen. This has now been done, with use of
a variety of denaturing agents. The dye methyl blue and an azo dye containing atoxyl have been used as antigens. The protein
solutions obtained have various properties characteristic of antibodies, including specificity to the antigen used and solubility
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of antigen-antibody precipitate in excess of antigen or of haptene.