The binding of antigen to cells with antibody on their surface has been studied in a model system consisting of murine myeloma cells (MOPC 315) and DNP conjugates. Specific binding occurred between the DNP groups of DNP conjugates and cell surface immunoglobulin.
Using this model, the binding affinities of multivalent and univalent DNP conjugates were measured directly by equilibrium-binding techniques and indirectly by displacement of bound conjugate with univalent hapten. With both approaches the multivalent conjugate was shown to bind to cells with an avidity 100–300 fold greater than the univalent hapten. Nonspecific binding of unrelated protein and repeated washing of cells was found to markedly dedecrease the specific binding of univalent conjugates, presumably because the relatively weak bonds dissociate readily.