A large proportion of (Glu60 Ala30 Tyr10)n (GAT)-specific antibodies expresses public idiotypic specificities, termed CGAT (or pGAT), that require the presence of both the heavy and the light chains in order to be expressed. We report in this paper the complete sequence of eight V kappa regions pertaining to eight anti-GAT monoclonal antibodies derived from three strains of mice: BALB/c, DBA/2, and C57BL/6. The methodology used a combination of NH2-terminal amino acid and mRNA nucleotide sequencing. All eight sequences analyzed, although highly homologous and all pertaining to the same V kappa 1 subgroup, allowed definition of three germline genes that are likely to be present in all three strains of mice and also in NZB. It seems likely, however, that any given strain may not necessarily use all three genes for making anti-GAT antibodies. The search for structural correlates of idiotypes could not be framed in a simple picture, but our data suggest that similar idiotopes may result from different interacting primary structures, leading to structural homologies that should be visualized at three-dimensional level.

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