heavy chain diseasemedical dictionary

A disorder of immunoglobulin synthesis in which large quantities of abnormal heavy chains are excreted in the urine. The amino acid sequences of the n- (amino-) terminal regions of these chains are normal, but they have a deletion extending from part of the variable domain through the first domain of the constant region, so that they cannot form cross-links to the light chains. The defect arises through faulty coupling of the variable (v) and constant (c) region genes.

(12 Dec 1998)

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