Evidence derived from the complete amino acid sequences of the variable regions of both the heavy and light chains of two members (BOR and KAS) of the Wa idiotypic family of human rheumatoid factors suggests that not only are the light chains of these molecules derived from possibly one variable region gene segment, but the heavy chain variable regions are all derived from the VHI subgroup of human V region genes. These molecules exhibit a surprising conservation in the size of D region, and all use the JH4 gene element. This restriction in use of VL, VH, D, and JH suggests all of these elements may play a crucial role in either antigen binding and/or expression of the crossreactive idiotype.

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