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ABSTRACT: Among the numerous questions remaining opened about catalytic antibodies (abzymes), the understanding of the origin of the genes encoding them is of vital significance. An original statistical analysis of genes encoding abzymes is described in the present report. Results suggested that these genes display a high conservation degree with their germline counterpart and a limited number of amino acid changes. Hence, on the contrary with high-affinity antibodies, maturation process by accumulation of somatic hypermutations is not required for the catalytic function. We demonstrated that despite a weak somatic mutation rate, the physicochemical properties of mutated amino acid (AA) are predominantly dissimilar with that of the germline AA. Further, we developed a novel approach in order to analyze the nature of genes encoding catalytic antibodies. For the first time, an unexpected and significant high level expression of rare gene subgroups was noticed and emphasized. The data described in this paper would lay the foundation for future studies about origin of genes encoding catalytic antibodies.
Molecular Immunology 03/2012; 50(3):160-8. · 2.65 Impact Factor