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Nat Rev Immunol. 2004 Oct;4(10):753-61.

A stepwise epigenetic process controls immunoglobulin allelic exclusion.

Author information

1
Department of Experimental Medicine, Hebrew University Medical School, Ein Kerem, Jerusalem 91120, Israel.

Abstract

During the differentiation of T and B cells, immune-receptor loci in the genome must be made sterically accessible so that they can undergo rearrangement. Here, we discuss how this is carried out by the stepwise removal of epigenetic repression mechanisms - such as later-replication timing, heterochromatization, histone hypo-acetylation and DNA methylation - in a manner that initially favours one allele in each cell. We propose that this mechanism of allelic exclusion might also be the basis for the generation of gene diversity in other systems.

PMID:
15459667
DOI:
10.1038/nri1458
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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