Info

Responding cell

SoiuWe Receptor

SoiuWe Receptor

Ligand-producing cell

Ligand

Soluble Receptor

Soluble Receptor

Receploi 2

Responding ccll

Responding ccll

Antigen

Antlgon

SofeWo Receptor (artibDdy)

Receploi 2

Reccplof (eeti tufifwe immunogjoulin)

Responding ccll

Figure 1 Structural forms and modes of action that can be attained by cell-bound and soluble forms of receptors and ligands.

In a wide sense, the term 'soluble receptors' also relates to the antibodies, whose ligand-binding portion can occur both in a soluble form (immunoglobulin, Ig) and in association with cells (the cell-surface immunoglobulins in B cells). Indeed, it was while attempting to describe the mechanisms by which antibodies are formed that Paul Erlich first suggested, about a hundred years ago, that cells are able to produce ligand-binding molecules both in soluble and in cell-associated forms (Figure 2).

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