Regulation of antigen receptor gene assembly in lymphocytes
Author: Oltz, Eugene
Source: Immunologic Research, Volume 23, Numbers 2-3, June 2001 , pp. 121-133(13)
Publisher: Humana Press
Abstract:Somatic alterations affecting the mammalian genome occur exclusively in B and T cells. Developing lymphocytes employ a series of DNA recombination events (V(D)J recombination) to assemble a diverse repertoire of immunoglobulin (Ig) and T cell receptor (TCR) variable regions from a large array of germline gene segments. V(D)J recombination is required not only for receptor diversification but also for lymphocyte development. At a molecular level, these recombination events are directed by conserved DNA sequences flanking all antigen receptor gene segments that function as recognition signals for a single recombinase activity. Despite these shared features, recombination events are controlled at the levels of stage-and tissue-specificity. Our primary research focus is to dissect the mechanisms that regulate assembly of antigen receptor loci by rendering certain gene segments accesible to a common V(D)J recombinase.This article discusses recent discoveries from the author's laboratory that address this long-standing issue. We have found that transcriptional promoters are critical cis-acting regulatory elements for targeting efficient recombination of chromosomal gene segments. We have also demonstrated that activation of NF-B signaling in precursor B cells is required for global regulation of Ig light chain gene assembly. Together, these findings provide key insights into the genetic mechanisms that regulate antigen receptor diversity and the developmental pathways leading to the acquisition of lymphocyte effector function.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, 1161 21st Avenue South, A4203 MCN, 37232, Nashville, TN, Email: email@example.com
Publication date: June 2001