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Nature. 1983 Apr 14;302(5909):575-81.

Somatic generation of antibody diversity.


In the genome of a germ-line cell, the genetic information for an immunoglobulin polypeptide chain is contained in multiple gene segments scattered along a chromosome. During the development of bone marrow-derived lymphocytes, these gene segments are assembled by recombination which leads to the formation of a complete gene. In addition, mutations are somatically introduced at a high rate into the amino-terminal region. Both somatic recombination and mutation contribute greatly to an increase in the diversity of antibody synthesized by a single organism.

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