Germline transcription: a key regulator of accessibility and recombination.
The developmental control of V(D)J recombination is imposed at the level of chromatin accessibility of recombination signal sequences (RSSs) to the recombinase machinery. Cis-acting transcriptional regulatory elements such as promoters and enhancers play a central role in the control of accessibility in vivo. However, the molecular mechanisms by which these elements influence accessibility are still under investigation. Although accessibility for V(D)J recombination is usually accompanied by germline transcription at antigen receptor loci, the functional significance of this transcription in directing RSS accessibility has been elusive. In this chapter, we review past studies outlining the complex relationship between V(D)J recombination and transcription as well as our current understanding on how chromatin structure is regulated during gene expression. We then summarize recent work that directly addresses the functional role of transcription in V(D)J recombination.
Abarrategui, I; Krangel, MS
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