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Nat Immunol. 2004 Nov;5(11):1117-23. Epub 2004 Oct 17.

Identification of an AID-independent pathway for chromosomal translocations between the Igh switch region and Myc.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and Section of Immunobiology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut 06520, USA.


Chromosomal translocations involving immunoglobulin heavy chain (Igh) switch regions and an oncogene such as Myc represent initiating events in the development of many B cell malignancies. These translocations are widely thought to result from aberrant class-switch recombination. To test this model, we measured translocations in mice deficient in activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID) that lack class-switch recombination. We found that AID made no measurable contribution to the generation of initial translocations, indicating that the intrinsic fragility of the switch regions or a pathway unrelated to AID is responsible for these translocations. In contrast, the outgrowth of translocation-positive cells was dependent on AID, raising the possibility that AID is important in tumor progression, perhaps by virtue of its mutagenic properties.

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