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Antibodies Have the Intrinsic Capacity to Destroy Antigens

Anita D. Wentworth, Lyn H. Jones, Paul Wentworth, Jr., Kim D. Janda and Richard A. Lerner
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Vol. 97, No. 20 (Sep. 26, 2000), pp. 10930-10935
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/123230
Page Count: 6
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Antibodies Have the Intrinsic Capacity to Destroy Antigens
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Abstract

Research throughout the last century has led to a consensus as to the strategy of the humoral component of the immune system. The essence is that, for killing, the antibody molecule activates additional systems that respond to antibody-antigen union. We now report that the immune system seems to have a previously unrecognized chemical potential intrinsic to the antibody molecule itself. All antibodies studied, regardless of source or antigenic specificity, can convert molecular oxygen into hydrogen peroxide, thereby potentially aligning recognition and killing within the same molecule. Aside from pointing to a new chemical arm for the immune system, these results may be important to the understanding of how antibodies evolved and what role they may play in human diseases.

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