Classification of mouse VK groups based on the partial amino acid sequence to the first invariant tryptophan: impact of 14 new sequences from IgG myeloma proteins

Mol Immunol. 1982 Dec;19(12):1619-30. doi: 10.1016/0161-5890(82)90273-5.


Fourteen new VK sequences derived from BALB/c IgG myeloma proteins were determined to the first invariant tryptophan (Trp 35). These partial sequences were compared with 65 other published VK sequences using a computer program. The 79 sequences were organized according to the length of the sequence from the amino terminus to the first invariant tryptophan (Trp 35), into seven groups (33, 34, 35, 36, 39, 40 and 41aa). A distance matrix of all 79 sequences was then computed, i.e. the number of amino acid substitutions necessary to convert one sequence to another was determined. From these data a dendrogram was constructed. Most of the VK sequences fell into clusters or closely related groups. The definition of a sequence group is arbitrary but facilitates the classification of VK proteins. We used 12 substitutions as the basis for defining a sequence group based on the known number of substitutions that are found in the VK21 proteins. By this criterion there were 18 groups in the Trp 35 dendrogram. Twelve of the 14 new sequences fell into one of these sequence groups; two formed new sequence groups. Collective amino acid sequencing is still encountering new VK structures indicating more sequences will be required to attain an accurate estimate of the total number of VK groups. Updated dendrograms can be quickly generated to include newly generated sequences.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Binding Sites, Antibody*
  • DNA
  • Immunoglobulin G*
  • Immunoglobulin Variable Region*
  • Immunoglobulins*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Myeloma Proteins*
  • Tryptophan


  • IgK
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Immunoglobulin Variable Region
  • Immunoglobulins
  • Myeloma Proteins
  • Tryptophan
  • DNA