Conditions were developed by which the separated H and L chains of gamma2 globulins recombined to form four-chained molecules in good yields.
In the absence of antigen, anti-2,4-dinitrophenyl (anti-DNP) H chains randomly reassociated with a mixture of antibody and non-specific gamma2 globulin L chains. In the presence of a specific hapten, however, the antibody H chains preferentially interacted with the anti-DNP L chains.
Antibody H chain-antibody L chain recombinants formed in the presence of hapten were more active than the corresponding recombinants formed in the absence of hapten.
Speculations are made regarding the possible mechanisms and biological significance of these effects.