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Immunoglobulin Superfamily

  1. Kannan Natarajan1,
  2. Michael G Mage2,
  3. David H Margulies1

Published Online: 27 JAN 2006

DOI: 10.1038/npg.els.0000926



How to Cite

Natarajan, K., Mage, M. G. and Margulies, D. H. 2006. Immunoglobulin Superfamily. eLS. .

Author Information

  1. 1

    National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA

  2. 2

    National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 27 JAN 2006

This is not the most recent version of the article. View current version (14 APR 2015)


The immunoglobulin superfamily (IgSF) consists of a group of proteins that exploit the structural robustness and fundamental stability of the immunoglobulin fold for a wide assortment of functions across a broad span of evolutionary time, extending from microorganisms to humans. Although the best understood activities of IgSF members are related to immunological recognition, a number of related molecules participate in developmental and homeostatic phenomena. Manipulation of the IgSF by recombinant gene technology offers in vitro approaches to increase the available diversity of novel structures for almost limitless functions.


  • molecular fold;
  • structural motif;
  • antibodies;
  • T-cell receptors;
  • immune recognition