Author(s): Goding JW
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Abstract This brief review summarises the major uses of staphylococcal protein A in immunology. Protein A is covalently linked to the cell wall of most strains of Staphylococcus aureus, and binds immunoglobulin molecules with high affinity. The principal molecule bo-nd is IgG, although in many cases binding is restricted to certain IgG subclasses. Some IgM and IgA binds in certain species. This property allows rapid, simple and economical methods for the purification and analysis of immunoglobulins, and the fractionation of subclasses which are difficult to separate by other means. Fractionation on protein A affinity columns is a simple and efficient way of separating immunoglobulin F (ab) and F (ab')2 from Fc fragments. Intact staphylococci are useful as a solid phase adsorbent for isolating antigen-antibody complexes, membrane antigens and receptors, and to replace 'second antibody' in radioimmunoassay. Finally, protein A has proven useful for the study of antigens and receptors on the surface of intact cells, and for the detection of antibody-secreting cells. Thus, the use of protein A is now the method of choice for many preparative and analytical purposes in immunology.
This article was published in J Immunol Methods
and referenced in Biochemistry & Analytical Biochemistry