an antibody? - an immunoprotein responsible for specifically recognising and binding to potentially pathogenic molecules.
an antigen? - the molecule that the antibody targets.
a heavy chain? - the longer antibody chain. This folds to form one variable domain (VH) and three or more constant domains (CH1, CH2 and CH3).
a light chain? - the shorter antibody chain. This folds to form one variable domain (VL) and one constant domain (CL1).
a variable domain (VH or VL)? - the variable part of the antibody.
a CDR? - a Complimentarity Determining Region. These are generally characterised by six hypervariable loops: three on VH (H1, H2 and H3) and three on VL (L1, L2 and L3). Diversity in the sequence and structure of the CDRs are the main determinants of antigen specificity and affinity.
the framework region? - the collective name for the residues in VH or VL that are not CDRs.
an Fv? - a variable fragment. The collective name for a paired VH and VL.
an Fab?- an antigen binding fragment. The same as an Fv but also including the first constant domains of each chain, CH1 and CL1. Typically an antibody will have two Fab arms (see above). Most structures in SAbDab contain only these fragments.
a numbering scheme? - a system to annotate equivalent positions in antibodies. A scheme can often be applied by examining the sequence of the antibody only.
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