Somatic Mutation in VH Complementarity-Determining Region 2 and Framework Region 2: Differential Effects on Antigen Binding and Ig Secretion

Gregory D. Wiens, Kurt A. Heldwein, Mary P. Stenzel-Poore, Marvin B. Rittenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Scopus citations


The extent to which somatic mutation impairs the Ig complementarity-determining region (CDR) and framework region (FRW) structure/function is not clear. Previously, we found that the VH CDR2 of the murine T15 Ab is highly sensitive to mutation; 56% (26 of 46) of Abs mutated in vitro had reduced or no Ag binding capability, and 9% were secretion impaired. Here we test whether the T15 VH CDR2 structure is unique by mutating the VH CDR2 of the anti-PC-protein murine Ab, PCG1-1. PCC1-1 VH is encoded by the M141 gene and is unrelated in sequence or structure to that of T15 VH1. The majority (54%, 20 of 37) of PCG1-1 mutants carrying one to five mutations in VH CDR2 had reduced or abolished Ag binding, while 10% were secretion impaired. Taken together, mutational analysis of the VH1 and VH M141 genes demonstrates that impaired binding and may be common outcomes of CDR2 somatic mutation. We also tested the tolerance of the VH FRW2 of T15 to mutation, expecting this sequence-conserved region to be highly sensitive to alterations. However, FRW2 accommodated many nonconservative changes, and only 12% (3 of 25) of secreted mutants had impaired Ag binding. Moreover, mutations in FRW2 caused secretion defects in 24% (8 of 33), a frequency twice that of VH CDR2 mutants. A total of 16 unique secretion mutants have now been identified. These findings suggest that B cell losses from somatic mutation may be extensive and due to varied causes not all related to Ag binding.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1293-1302
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1 1997


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

Cite this