An extract of the albumin gland of Helix pomatia was linked to Sepharose-4B and used to prepare IgA from group O human serum; immunoelectrophoresis showed that the preparation was free of IgG and IgM. From studies with specific IgA subclass antisera and by comparison with the activity of jacalin-produced material the Helix pomatia extract was found to be IgA1 specific. The preparation had red cell anti-A, B specificity and was suitable for standardizing and controlling anti-human IgA reagents. Preparations using six different carbohydrates as eluants inhibited the agglutination reaction between anti-human IgA and IgA-coated red cells to varying degrees. The pattern of reactions suggested that N-acetyl glucosamine was the IgA binding site for Helix pomatia; this differed from its blood group A determinant (N-acetyl galactosamine) which was the same as that for the IgA1 reactive component of jacalin.
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