Id-460+ immunoglobulins can be induced in vivo by immunization with dinitrophenyl (DNP) or P. pneumotropica and form two nonoverlapping groups of antibodies with respect to antigen binding specificity. In this study, using Id-460+ antibodies of differing antigen binding specificities, we compared on the molecular genetic level the five gene segment combinations (VH, DH, JH, VL, and JL) that encode the variable regions of these idiotype-positive immunoglobulins. The Id-460 determinant appears to be a conformational or combinatorial determinant encoded by VH460 and VK1 crosshybridizing genes. DH, JH, and JK gene segments appear to have no measurable effect upon expression of Id-460. Finally, antigen binding specificity does not appear to simply localize to any particular gene segment but may in part be the result of somatic mutation and/or VDJH junctional sequences, whose length correlates roughly with antigen binding specificity.

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