V(D)J recombinase activity in a subset of germinal center B lymphocytes.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Reexpression of the V(D)J recombinase-activating genes RAG1 and RAG2 in germinal center B cells creates the potential for immunoglobulin gene rearrangement and the generation of new antigen receptor specificities. Intermediate products of V(D)J recombination are abundant in a subset of germinal center B cells, demonstrating that the kappa immunoglobulin light-chain locus becomes a substrate for renewed V(D)J recombinase activity. This recombinationally active cell compartment contains many heavy-chain VDJ rearrangements that encode low-affinity or nonfunctional antibody. In germinal centers, secondary V(D)J recombination may be induced by diminished binding to antigen ligands, thereby limiting abrupt changes in receptor specificity to B cells that are usually eliminated from the germinal center reaction. This restriction preserves efficient antigen-driven selection in germinal centers while allowing for saltations in the somatic evolution of B cells.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Han, S; Dillon, SR; Zheng, B; Shimoda, M; Schlissel, MS; Kelsoe, G

Published Date

  • October 10, 1997

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 278 / 5336

Start / End Page

  • 301 - 305

PubMed ID

  • 9323211

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0036-8075

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1126/science.278.5336.301


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States