Examination of Msh6- and Msh3-deficient mice in class switching reveals overlapping and distinct roles of MutS homologues in antibody diversification.
Somatic hypermutation and class switch recombination (CSR) contribute to the somatic diversification of antibodies. It has been shown that MutS homologue (Msh)6 (in conjunction with Msh2) but not Msh3 is involved in generating A/T base substitutions in somatic hypermutation. However, their roles in CSR have not yet been reported. Here we show that Msh6(-)(/)(-) mice have a decrease in CSR, whereas Msh3(-)(/)(-) mice do not. When switch regions were analyzed for mutations, deficiency in Msh6 was associated with an increase in transition mutations at G/C basepairs, mutations at RGYW/WRCY hotspots, and a small increase in the targeting of G/C bases. In addition, Msh6(-)(/)(-) mice exhibited an increase in the targeting of recombination sites to GAGCT/GGGGT consensus repeats and hotspots in Sgamma3 but not in Smicro. In contrast to Msh2(-)(/)(-) mice, deficiency in Msh6 surprisingly did not change the characteristics of Smicro-Sgamma3 switch junctions. However, Msh6(-)(/)(-) mice exhibited a change in the positioning of Smicro and Sgamma3 junctions. Although none of these changes were seen in Msh3(-)(/)(-) mice, they had a higher percentage of large inserts in their switch junctions. Together, our data suggest that MutS homologues Msh2, Msh3, and Msh6 play overlapping and distinct roles during antibody diversification processes.
Li, Z; Scherer, SJ; Ronai, D; Iglesias-Ussel, MD; Peled, JU; Bardwell, PD; Zhuang, M; Lee, K; Martin, A; Edelmann, W; Scharff, MD
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