Human immunoglobulin allotypes Possible implications for immunogenicity

Royston Jefferis, MP Lefranc

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

142 Citations (Scopus)


More than twenty recombinant monoclonal antibodies are approved as therapeutics. Almost all of these are based on the whole IgG isotype format, but vary in the origin of the variable regions between mouse (chimeric), humanized mouse and fully human sequences; all of those with whole IgG format employ human constant region sequences. Currently, the opposing merits of the four IgG subclasses are considered with respect to the in vivo biological activities considered to be appropriate to the disease indication being treated. Human heavy chain genes also exhibit extensive structural polymorphism(s) and, being closely linked, are inherited as a haplotype. Polymorphisms (allotypes) within the IgG isotype were originally discovered and described using serological reagents derived from humans; demonstrating that allotypic variants can be immunogenic and provoke antibody responses as a result of allo-immunization. The serologically defined allotypes differ widely within and between population groups; therefore, a mAb of a given allotype will, inevitably, be delivered to a cohort of patients homozygous for the alternative allotype. This publication reviews the serologically defined human IgG allotypes and considers the potential for allotype differences to contribute to or potentiate immuno-genicity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)332-338
Number of pages7
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2009


  • human IgG
  • IgG glycosylation
  • polymorphisms
  • antibody therapeutics
  • immunogenicity
  • anti-therapeutic antibody
  • IgG allotypes


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