This report describes the clinical and immunoglobulin features of a patient with gamma heavy chain disease (HCD), who presented with a clinical picture suggestive of an underlying malignancy rather than the usual picture of lymphoma or granulomatous disease. A unique clinical feature was the nearly total replacement of the submaxillary glands by plasma cells. The patient's serum and urine contained a paraprotein, gammaHCD protein BAZ, which belongs to the gamma1 subclass and forms noncovalently linked dimers with a molecular weight of approximately 60,000 daltons. This mutant protein exhibited a deletion which encompassed most of the variable (V) region, the first constant domain (CH 1), and the hinge region. In addition, preliminary structural analyses demonstrated the replacement of alanine by glycine in position 431 of the carboxyterminal octadecapeptide. This substitution may possibly represent another allotypic marker on IgG1 proteins.

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