By E. R. Gold and D. B. Peacock (Auth.)
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Some of the determinant groups present on these antigens may be the same as, or very similar to, determinant groups on related bacteria. The related bacteria will then also react with the antiserum. Such a reaction is termed a cross-reaction. If a bacterium 1, containing antigens A and B, is used for immunization, the corresponding antibodies anti-A and anti-B will be produced. If a bacterium 2, containing antigens B and C, is mixed with the antiserum to bacterium 1 it will react with anti-B. The bacterial cells can be separated from the antiserum by centrifugation, anti-B will remain attached to them and the supernatant fluid will contain only anti-A.
Conjugation through sulphydryl groups is particularly appropriate for proteins like keratin which contain many disulphide bridges that can be reduced to sulphydryl groups. It is also possible to conjugate to protein by peptide bridges and this method has been considered more 'natural' and causes little or no denaturation. When azoproteins are used for immunization the resulting antiserum may contain antibodies directed at three types of determinants : (1) those associated with the protein carrier only; (2) those associated with the introduced group only; and (3) those formed from both carrier and conjugate.
7. CHEMICAL STRUCTURE Probably the smallest difference found so far in the chemical structure of a protein that alters its specificity concerns the amido group. The two iso-enzymes ribonuclease A and B probably differ only in the amidation of a single carboxyl group, and show slight but definite differences in serological reactivity . Deamination of the terminal lysine residue of bovine ribonuclease also results in a greatly diminished precipitate with antibody to unaltered ribonuclease, but in this case a local alteration in the tertiary structure cannot be excluded.