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BIO407: Immunology

Unit 3: Immunoglobulins   Units 1 and 2 introduced you to many of the important components of the immune system, but some molecules, such as immunoglobulins, require more in-depth investigation.  Immunoglobulins (also known as antibodies) are critical to the immune response.  They bind to antigens and to various other immune-system molecules in order to stimulate defensive function.  All immunoglobulins have the same general, Y-shaped structure, but they can vary in aspects of their structure and function.  There are five classes, or isotypes, of immunoglobulins, and each plays a different role in the immune system.  This unit will cover the general structure and function of immunoglobulins as well as the more specific roles of each class of immunoglobulins. It will also address the genetic mechanisms that help create the wide diversity of immunoglobulin types. 

Unit 3 Time Advisory
This unit will take you 4.66 hours to complete. ☐    Subunit 3.1: 1 hour

☐    Subunit 3.2: 0.5 hours

☐    Subunit 3.3: 0.66 hours

☐    Subunit 3.4: 2 hours

☐    Unit 3 Assessment: 0.5 hours

Unit3 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the structure of immunoglobulins, including distinguishing between the roles of the light and heavy chains.
  • Distinguish between Ig classes in terms of their locations, behaviors, and major immune roles.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the processes of DNA rearrangement that allow for the diversity of antibodies.

3.1 Immunoglobulins   - Reading: National Institutes of Health: Professor Charles Janeway et al.’s Immunobiology: “The Structure of a Typical Antibody” Link: National Institutes of Health: Professor Charles Janeway et al.’s Immunobiology: “The Structure of a Typical Antibody” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Read this page in its entirety along with all associated figures.  It will cover the material in 3.1.
 
This resource will take approximately 30 minutes to complete.

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.
  • Reading: Open Michigan: Department of Microbiology's "Antibodies: M1 - Immunology Sequence" Link: Open Michigan: Department of Microbiology's "Antibodies: M1 - Immunology Sequence" (PDF)

    Instructions: Follow the link and review the PowerPoint slides.

    This resource will take approximately 30 minutes to complete.

    Terms of Use: This material is made available under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License. 

3.1.1 Structure   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading for subunit 3.1. 

3.1.2 Light and Heavy Chains   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading for subunit 3.1. 

3.1.3 Fab Fragments   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading for subunit 3.1. 

3.2 Ig Classes: Structures, Properties, and Clinical Implications   - Reading: University of South Carolina School of Medicine: Dr. Gene Mayer’s Immunology: “Immunoglobulins: Structure and Function” Link: University of South Carolina School of Medicine: Dr.  Gene Mayer’s Immunology: “Immunoglobulins: Structure and Function” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Scroll down to part VI, “Human Immunoglobulin Classes, Subclasses, Types and Subtypes,” and read from this section through the end of the page, along with associated Figures 7-15.  This resource will cover the material in 3.2.
 
This resource will take approximately 30 minutes to complete.

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

3.2.1 IgG   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading for subunit 3.2.

3.2.2 IgA   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading for subunit 3.2.

3.2.3 IgM   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading for subunit 3.2.

3.2.4 IgE   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading for subunit 3.2.

3.2.5 IgD   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading for subunit 3.2.

3.3 Immunoglobulins in Adaptive Immunity   - Reading: National Institutes of Health: Professor Charles Janeway et al.’s Immunobiology: “The Distribution and Functions of Immunoglobulin Isotypes" Link: National Institutes of Health: Professor Charles Janeway et al.’s Immunobiology: “The Distribution and Functions of Immunoglobulin Isotypes” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Read from the beginning of the page through section 9-16, along with all associated figures, and read the final “Summary” paragraph.  This will cover the material in 3.3.
 
This resource will take approximately 40 minutes to complete.

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

3.3.1 Distribution of Ig Isotypes   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading for subunit 3.3.

3.3.2 Anti-Bacterial Functions   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading for subunit 3.3.

3.3.3 Neutralization of Bacterial Toxins   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading for subunit 3.3.

3.3.4 Reduction of Viral Infectivity   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading for subunit 3.3.

3.3.5 Induction of Classical Complement System   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading for subunit 3.3.

3.3.6 Immune Complex Formation   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading for subunit 3.3.

3.3.7 Opsonization   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading for subunit 3.3.

3.4 Genetics and Genetic Regulation   Note: A person’s immune repertoire refers to all of the different antigens that the person can react to. From the first lessons you might recall that there is exquisite specificity in each reaction. There is an enormous number of different reactions, perhaps 10 11, or more. How can this be when only about 20,000 genes make up the human genome?  The readings in this section answer this question. By the way, when there is an antigen that you don’t respond to, it is called a hole in your repertoire.

  • Reading: National Institutes of Health: Professor Charles Janeway et al.’s Immunobiology: “The Generation of Diversity in Immunoglobulins” Link: National Institutes of Health: Professor Charles Janeway et al.’s Immunobiology: “The Generation of Diversity in Immunoglobulins” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Read this page in its entirety along with all associated figures.  This will cover the material in 3.3.
     
    This resource will take approximately 1 hour to complete.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Lecture: The University of South Carolina School of Medicine: Dr. Jennifer Nyland et al.’s “Immunoglobulins: Genetics” Link:  The University of South Carolina School of Medicine: Dr.  Jennifer Nyland’s “Immunoglobulins: Genetics” (Adobe Flash, MP3 or Quicktime)
     
    Instructions: In the Immunology folder, click on the third “Immunoglobulins” lecture.  You have the choice of watching this on your computer with audio and slideshow or downloading the lectures to an MP3 player.  This will cover the material in 3.3. 
     
    This resource will take approximately 1 hour to complete.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

3.4.1 Genetics   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading for subunit 3.4.

3.4.2 Rearrangement and Ig Diversity   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading for subunit 3.4.

3.4.3 RAG Proteins   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading for subunit 3.4.

3.4.4 Somatic Mutation   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading for subunit 3.4.

Unit 3 Assessment   - Assessment: The Saylor Foundation's "BIO407 Unit 3 Quiz" Link: The Saylor Foundation's "BIO407 Unit 3 Quiz" (PDF)

 Instructions: Please take the quiz. When you have finished, check
your work against the “[BIO407 Unit 3 Quiz Answer
Key](http://www.saylor.org/site/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/BIO407-Unit-3-Quiz-Answer-Key-FINAL.pdf).”
 (PDF)  

 The assessment should take approximately 30 minutes to complete.