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Immunity. 2002 Nov;17(5):639-51.

The "dispensable" portion of RAG2 is necessary for efficient V-to-DJ rearrangement during B and T cell development.

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Department of Molecular & Cell Biology, Division of Immunology, University of California, Berkeley 94720, USA.


Previous in vitro studies defined the minimal regions of RAG1 and RAG2 essential for V(D)J recombination. In order to characterize the role of the C-terminal "dispensable" portion of RAG2, we generated core-RAG2 knock-in mice. We found that the core-RAG2-containing recombinase complex is selectively defective in catalyzing V-to-DJ rearrangement at the IgH and TCRbeta loci, resulting in partial developmental blocks in B and T lymphopoiesis. Analysis of recombination intermediates showed defects at the cleavage phase of the reaction. We also observed a reduction in overall recombinase activity in core-RAG2-expressing thymocytes, leading us to suggest that the interaction of a defective recombinase with RSS sequences unique to VH and Vbeta gene segments may underlie the specific V-to-DJ rearrangement defect in core-RAG2 mice.

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