Immunoglobulin heavy chains have been shown to be encoded by at least 3 widely separated genetic elements, designated variable (V), diversity (D), and joining (J), which undergo rearrangement during somatic differentiation to produce the active gene form. The D segment codes for a portion of the 3rd hypervariable region and thus potentially contributes significantly to structural diversity in this portion of the molecule. Heavy chains from anti-inulin proteins are unusual in that they essentially lack a 3rd hypervariable region. Thus, if a D segment exists in these proteins, it is extremely short, possibly 1 to 2 amino acids, and more likely serves a framework function rather than introduces structural diversity in the 3rd hypervariable region. We have completed the heavy chain variable region amino acid sequence from proteins AMPC1 and T957 bringing to 6 the number of complete sequences from this group. All of these proteins lack a 3rd hypervariable region. In addition, substitutions are found within the J segments of AMPC1 and T957, which are unlikely to be generated by the recombination event. The occurrence of Pro at position 105 in both of these J segments in contrast to the Gln found in all other heavy chains using this J segment suggests the possible existence of a previously unidentified J segment gene.

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