General structure of antibodies

The antigen binding site is in the Fab fragment and the effector functions in the Fc fragment. Six segments (CDRs) within the variable regions (VH and VK) of the heavy and light chains loop out from the framework (FR regions) globular structure of the rest of the antibody and interact to form an exposed surface at one end of the molecule (Figure 1). This is the antigen binding domain. Generally 4-6 of the CDRs will be directly involved in binding antigen, although fewer than this will provide the main binding motifs.

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