The relationships between the polypeptide chains of γG immunoglobulin and fragments of the molecule produced by papain and pepsin have been investigated. Specific procedures were employed including peptide mapping of tryptic hydrolysates and analysis of molecules reconstituted from chains labeled with different iodine isotopes. By these means, the Fab fragment was shown unequivocally to consist of the light chain and a portion of the heavy chain, the Fd fragment. The Fc fragment was found to be comprised of the residual portions of the heavy chain. These findings support the gross arrangement of chains embodied in recent models of the γG immunoglobulin molecule.
The present studies have also provided additional information on the susceptibility of γG immunoglobulin to proteolytic cleavage. It was found that the portion of heavy chains corresponding to the Fd fragment was extensively cleaved by papain.