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J Immunol. 2000 May 15;164(10):5269-76.

Transgenic human lambda 5 rescues the murine lambda 5 nullizygous phenotype.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology, University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, FL 33101, USA.


The human lambda 5 (hu lambda 5) gene is the structural homologue of the murine lambda 5 (m lambda 5) gene and is transcriptionally active in pro-B and pre-B lymphocytes. The lambda 5 and VpreB polypeptides together with the Ig mu H chain and the signal-transducing subunits, Ig alpha and Ig beta, comprise the pre-B cell receptor. To further investigate the pro-B/pre-B-specific transcription regulation of hu lambda 5 in an in vivo model, we generated mouse lines that contain a 28-kb genomic fragment encompassing the entire hu lambda 5 gene. High levels of expression of the transgenic hu lambda 5 gene were detected in bone marrow pro-B and pre-B cells at the mRNA and protein levels, suggesting that the 28-kb transgene fragment contains all the transcriptional elements necessary for the stage-specific B progenitor expression of hu lambda 5. Flow cytometric and immunoprecipitation analyses of bone marrow cells and Abelson murine leukemia virus-transformed pre-B cell lines revealed the hu lambda 5 polypeptide on the cell surface and in association with mouse Ig mu and mouse VpreB. Finally, we found that the hu lambda 5 transgene is able to rescue the pre-B lymphocyte block when bred onto the m lambda 5-/- background. Therefore, we conclude that the hu lambda 5 polypeptide can biochemically and functionally substitute for m lambda 5 in vivo in pre-B lymphocyte differentiation and proliferation. These studies on the mouse and human pre-B cell receptor provide a model system to investigate some of the molecular requirements necessary for B cell development.

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