The DNA coding for the human immunoglobulin D(IgD) heavy chain (delta, delta) has been sequenced including the membrane and secreted termini. Human delta, like that of the mouse, has a separate exon for the carboxyl terminus of the secreted form. This feature of human and mouse IgD distinguishes it from all other immunoglobulins regardless of species or class. The human gene is different from that of the mouse; it has three, rather than two, constant region domains; and its lengthy hinge is encoded by two exons rather than one. Except for the third constant region, the human and mouse genes are only distantly related.

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