Antibody and Antigen Models Set
Use these 3-dimensional antibody and antigen models to introduce your students to the protein structure of the antibodycomposed of 12 repeating immunoglobulin foldsbefore discussing its role in the immune system.
Antibodies are an important protein of the immune system; they recognize and bind to antigens, triggering a variety of immune responses that protect the cell from infection. Modular in design, they are composed of 2 heavy chains and 2 light chains. Each heavy chain is composed of 4 immunoglobulin folds. Each immunoglobulin fold consists of 2 flat beta sheets held together by a covalent disulfide bond between 2 cysteine amino acids, found in one of the beta sheets. Each light chain consists of 2 immunoglobulin folds. The antigen binding site is located at the ends of these Y-shaped proteins, where immunoglobulin folds from each chain come together.
Antibodies are difficult to study because they are so flexible. However, in the 1960s, Rodney Porter and Gerald Edelman independently determined the structure of the antibody using different techniques. They shared the 1972 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their work.
On the plastic 8-1/2" antibody model, the heavy chains are yellow, the light chains are red, and the carbohydrate is blue, which stabilizes the heavy chains in the molecule. On the nylon 3-1/2" antigen model, the heavy chains are white, the light chains are red, and the carbohydrate is blue. Models should be handled with care.
These models can be used in conjunction with the Flu Fight: Immunity & Infection© Panorama Cellular Landscape Poster (item #211158, sold separately) to actively simulate antibody binding and specificity.
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