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Nat Immunol. 2004 Jul;5(7):707-12. Epub 2004 Jun 13.

Separate domains of AID are required for somatic hypermutation and class-switch recombination.

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Department of Medical Chemistry and Molecular Biology, Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto University, Yoshida, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8501, Japan.


Activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID) is essential for class-switch recombination (CSR) and somatic hypermutation (SHM). Mutants with changes in the C-terminal region of AID retain SHM but lose CSR activity. Here we describe five mutants with alterations in the N-terminal region of AID that caused selective deficiency in SHM but retained CSR, suggesting that the CSR and SHM activities of AID may dissociate via interaction of CSR- or SHM-specific cofactors with different domains of AID. Unlike cells expressing C-terminal AID mutants, B cells expressing N-terminal AID mutants had mutations in the switch micro region, indicating that such mutations are generated by reactions involved in CSR but not SHM. Thus, we propose that separate domains of AID interact with specific cofactors to regulate these two distinct genetic events in a target-specific way.

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