Received May 22, 2013; Revision received July 25, 2013
Antibodies (immunoglobulins, Ig) are used by the immune system to identify and neutralize foreign objects and are responsible for antigen-binding and effector functions. Immunoglobulin G (IgG) is the major serum immunoglobulin of a healthy human (~75% of the total Ig fraction). The discovery in 1970 of the endogenous tetrapeptide tuftsin (Thr-Lys-Pro-Arg, fragment 289-292 of the CH2-domain of the heavy (H) chain of IgG), possessing both immunostimulatory and neurotrophic activities, was an impetus for the search for new biologically active peptides of immunoglobulin origin. As a result, fragments of the H-chain of IgG produced as a result of enzymatic cleavage of IgG within the antigen–antibody complex were discovered, synthesized, and studied. These fragments include rigin (341-344), immunorphin (364-373), immunocortin (11-20), and peptide p24 (335-358) and its fragments. In this review the properties of these peptides and their role in regulating the immune response are analyzed.
KEY WORDS: antibodies, peptides, receptors, immune system