Mouse IgM (immunoglobulin M) was selectively and partially reduced and treated with iodo[2-14C]acetate to label the interchain disulphide bridges. The carboxymethylation was studied in some detail. The labelled peptides were purified, sequenced and positioned by homology with human IgM. Only peptides originating from three interchain disulphide bridges were labelled, in contrast with the four labelled bridges obtained in human IgM under the same conditions. These peptides are homologous to human bridge peptides forming the heavy-light bridge and two inter-heavy bridges, one present in the Cμ2 region and the other in the C-terminal region. The inter-heavy bridge in the Cμ2 region was alone cleaved and radioactively labelled in selectively reduced IgM held together as a pentamer by non-covalen interactions. The same bridge was the only one to be totally cleaved in subunits released after more extensive, though still selective, reduction. In the light of these results a possible arrangement of the disulphide bridges of the mouse IgM pentamer is proposed.

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