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Plos Biology : Immunoglobulin Heavy Chain Exclusion in the Shark, Volume 6

By Malecek, Karolina

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Book Id: WPLBN0003928847
Format Type: PDF eBook :
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Reproduction Date: 2015

Title: Plos Biology : Immunoglobulin Heavy Chain Exclusion in the Shark, Volume 6  
Author: Malecek, Karolina
Volume: Volume 6
Language: English
Subject: Journals, Science, Biology
Collections: Periodicals: Journal and Magazine Collection, PLoS Biology
Publication Date:
Publisher: Plos


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Malecek, K. (n.d.). Plos Biology : Immunoglobulin Heavy Chain Exclusion in the Shark, Volume 6. Retrieved from

Description : The adaptive immune system depends on specific antigen receptors, immunoglobulins (Ig) in B lymphocytes and T cell receptors (TCR) in T lymphocytes. Adaptive responses to immune challenge are based on the expression of a single species of antigen receptor per cell: and in B cells, this is mediated in part by allelic exclusion at the Ig heavy (H) chain locus. How allelic exclusion is regulated is unclear: we considered that sharks, the oldest vertebrates possessing the Ig/ TCR-based immune system, would yield insights not previously approachable and reveal the primordial basis of the regulation of allelic exclusion. Sharks have an IgH locus organization consisting of 15–200 independently rearranging miniloci (VH-D1-D2-JH-Cl), a gene organization that is considered ancestral to the tetrapod and bony fish IgH locus. We found that rearrangement takes place only within a minilocus, and the recombining gene segments are assembled simultaneously and randomly. Only one or few H chain genes were fully rearranged in each shark B cell, whereas the other loci retained their germline configuration. In contrast, most IgH were partially rearranged in every thymocyte (developing T cell) examined, but no IgH transcripts were detected. The distinction between B and T cells in their IgH configurations and transcription reveals a heretofore unsuspected chromatin state permissive for rearrangement in precursor lymphocytes, and suggests that controlled limitation of B cell lineage-specific factors mediate regulated rearrangement and allelic exclusion. This regulation may be shared by higher vertebrates in which additional mechanistic and regulatory elements have evolved with their structurally complex IgH locus


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