Are the universes of antibodies and antigens symmetrical?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


This paper discusses the assumed infinite numbers of antigens and antibodies, and the nature of their interactions, in relation to reproductive immunology. Classical models offered by Pauling, Burnet and Crick are discussed. The author's own model is described, based on selectionist principles, proposing that the numbers are defined, discrete and not infinite. The binding specificity of monoclonal antibodies of four to six amino acids limits the number on the total number of antibody-binding peptides. This limitation on size enables the total number of these peptides to define 'one-hit' or 'two-hit' protein sequences in databases of known proteins. Estimate of the combinations of variable heavy and light chains of different numerical magnitude is 2.5 × 106. The author proposes the equivalence principle, where equivalent numbers of antigens and antibodies exist and theorizing a limited number of antigen-antibody pairs in the magnitude of 3.2 × 106 or slightly less. The nature of various protein-ligand interactions, indicated by their limited numbers of interactions, clarifies why a particular amino acid is encoded by a particular codon and the nature of encoding by tRNA. In relation to reproductive phenomena, specific proteins for contact with sperm ligands were designed using these parameters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)154-156
Number of pages3
JournalReproductive BioMedicine Online
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Developmental Biology


  • Antibodies
  • Antigens
  • Reproductive immunology
  • Symmetry


Dive into the research topics of 'Are the universes of antibodies and antigens symmetrical?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this