Organisation of the equine immunoglobulin constant heavy chain genes. II. Equine cgamma genes

Vet Immunol Immunopathol. 1998 Dec 11;66(3-4):273-87. doi: 10.1016/s0165-2427(98)00182-2.


The number of immunoglobulin G constant heavy chain genes (cgamma genes) varies broadly among mammalian species, reflecting structural and functional differences between expressed immunoglobulin G (IgG) isotypes and allotypes. Up to now equine IgG isotypes have been defined only at the biochemical and serological level. It is still not clear how many IgG isotypes exist in horses and whether there are any allotypes. Here, we describe the isolation and characterisation of equine cgamma genes. An equine genomic lambda phage library was screened with a human cgamma4 probe. Cross-hybridising equine cgamma sequences were cloned twice and characterised by restriction mapping with the human cgamma4 and a murine sgamma1 probe. Genomic equine DNA probes for both, cgamma genes and corresponding switch regions (sgamma), were isolated and used for a more detailed BamHI restriction analysis, comparing genomic DNA of various horses. This analysis reveals the existence of at least five, or probably six cgamma genes in the equine haploid genome. Beside the porcine system, this is the highest number of cgamma genes described for any mammalian species. Moreover, for two of these cgamma genes, BamHI restriction fragment length polymorphism became evident.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • DNA Probes
  • Horses / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin Constant Regions / genetics*
  • Immunoglobulin Heavy Chains / genetics*
  • Mice
  • Pedigree
  • Restriction Mapping / veterinary


  • DNA Probes
  • Immunoglobulin Constant Regions
  • Immunoglobulin Heavy Chains