Complete sequence of the genes encoding the VH and VL regions of low- and high- affinity monoclonal lgM and lgA1 rheumatoid factors produced by CD5+ B cells from a rheumatoid arthritis patient

Nagaradona Harindranath, Inna S. Goldfarb, Hideyuki Ikematsu, Samuele E. Burastero, Ronald L. Wilder, Abner L. Notkins, Paolo Casali

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

104 Scopus citations


We have characterized the VH and VL genes of three low-affinity polyreactive and two hlgh-affinity monoreactive IgM and lgA1 rheumatoid factor (RF) mAb generated using circulating CD5+ B cells from a single rheumatoid arthritis patient. We found that four and one RF mAb utilized genes of the VHIV and VHIII families, respectively. The VHIV gene usage by these RF mAb differs from the preferential VHIII, VHI, and, to a lesser extent, VHII gene usage by the IgM with RF activity found In patients with mixed cryoglobulinemia, Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia, and other monoclonal gammopathies. In addition, in contrast to the preponderant xL chain usage by the RF in these patients, a λL chain was utilized by all RF mAb from our rheumatoid arthritis patient. Two RF mAbs utilized Vλl, two VλIV, and one Vλlll L chains. The VH genes of the two low-affinity polyreactive IgM RF mAb were in germllne configuration. When compared with the deduced amino acid sequence of the putatively corresponding genomic segment, the VH gene of the high-affinity monoreactive IgM RF mAb displayed five amino acid differences, all of which are in the complementarity determining regions (CDR), possibly the result of a process of somatic point mutation and clonal selection driven by Ag. The unavailability of the corresponding genomic VH segment sequences made it impossible to infer whether the VH genes utilized by the two lgA1 RF were in a germline or somatically mutated configuration. Sequencing of the genes encoding the H chain CDR3 (D segments) revealed that all three low-affinity polyreactive RF mAb displayed a much longer D segment (36-45 bases) than their high-affinity monoreactive counterparts (15-24 bases), raising the possibility that a long D segment may be one of the factors involved in antibody polyreactivity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)865-875
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Immunology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1991
Externally publishedYes


  • CD5+ B cells
  • Ig V genes
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Rheumatoid factor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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