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Pinheiro, Ana; Sousa-Pereira, Patricia de; Strive, Tanja; Knight, Katherine L.; Woof, Jenny M.; Esteves, Pedro J.; Abrantes, Joana (2018): Identification of a new European rabbit IgA with a serine-rich hinge region.
In: PLOS One 13(8), e0201567


In mammals, the most striking IgA system belongs to Lagomorpha. Indeed, 14 IgA sub-classes have been identified in European rabbits, 11 of which are expressed. In contrast, most other mammals have only one IgA, or in the case of hominoids, two IgA subclasses. Characteristic features of the mammalian IgA subclasses are the length and amino acid sequence of their hinge regions, which are often rich in Pro, Ser and Thr residues and may also carry Cys residues. Here, we describe a new IgA that was expressed in New Zealand White domestic rabbits of IGHVa1 allotype. This IgA has an extended hinge region containing an intriguing stretch of nine consecutive Ser residues and no Pro or Thr residues, a motif exclusive to this new rabbit IgA. Considering the amino acid properties, this hinge motif may present some advantage over the common IgA hinge by affording novel functional capabilities. We also sequenced for the first time the IgA14 CH2 and CH3 domains and showed that IgA14 and IgA3 are expressed.