Two dextran-binding myeloma proteins, J558 and Hdex 24, which possess the same individual idiotype (IdI) were diazotized to low levels (1-3.3 groups per subunit) with 1-[14C]-p-aminobenzoate. Both proteins lost the IdI idiotype under these conditions with most of the label incorporated on the heavy chains of each protein. When the diazotization ws carried out in the presence of the hapten 1-O-methyl-alpha-D-glucopyranoside the loss of idiotypic reactivity could be prevented for J558 but not for Hdex 24. Under these conditions most of the label was incorporated on the light chains of J558, but on the heavy chains of Hdex 24. For J558, these results show that a major determinant of the individual idiotype is within the hypervariable positions of the heavy chain. For Hdex 24 the determinant being modified is on the heavy chain but not involved in hapten binding. These results are consistent with previous work showing that J558 and Hdex 24 differ in amino acid sequence in the D and the J segments of the heavy chain and offer an alternative and complementary strategy for assigning idiotypic determinants.

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