Antibodies to staphylococcal nuclease have been fractionated into two populations on the basis of their ability to bind to the cyanogen bromide cleavage product of nuclease comprising the C-terminal portion of the molecule from the 99th to the 149th amino acid. The two populations of antibodies, anti-nuclease (1-99)n and anti-nuclease (99-149)N, have been prepared from a variety of strains, and analyzed using anti-idiotypic antisera raised against whole anti-nuclease antibodies from strains A/J, SJL, BALB/c, and B10.A(2R). Anti-nuclease (1-99)n, antibodies had the same pattern of reactivity with the anti-idiotypic antisera as did unfractionated antibodies, whereas a different pattern was found for anti-nuclease (99-149)n preparations. On the basis of these studies, five anti-nuclease idiotypes, designated NASE markers, have been identified and defined on the basis of their antigenic specificity and strain distribution. With these additional markers, it has been possible to provide more detailed maps of variable (V) region genes in the strains BALB/c, CB.20, and the recombinant BAB.14. A recombinational event between V region genes during the development of the BAB.14 strain is suggested by the positioning of these NASE markers.

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