Gene transfection and expression techniques have been used to produce three antibodies specific for alpha (1----6) linked dextran B512 with altered isotypes and J kappa regions. Expression of the L chain V region joined to J kappa 4 or J kappa 5 instead of to J kappa 2 reduced or abolished dextran binding. One antidextran with a reduced binding constant for dextran had the same combining site size as the parental mAb. Transfectoma Ig unreactive with dextran B512 did not bind to other class I or class II dextrans. Antibodies with J kappa 4-containing L chains expressed the 10.16.1 (anti-alpha(1----6) dextran) idiotype. In contrast variants expressing L chains with J kappa 5 lost idiotype expression, except when oligosaccharide is present on VH; all antibodies with J kappa 5 L chains continued to bind dextran but with reduced affinity. The presence of carbohydrate in VH may alter the conformation of both paratope and idiotope. Alteration of H chain isotype did not appear to significantly alter the ability of the antidextran to bind Ag; an exception may be that switching V regions to the IgM C region may decrease the apparent affinity for Ag.