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Hum Mutat. 2006 Aug;27(8):829.

V(D)J recombinase mediated inter-chromosomal HPRT alterations at cryptic recombination signal sequences in peripheral human T cells.

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Department of Pediatrics, University of Vermont, Burlington, Vermont, USA.


The V(D)J recombinase enzyme complex is responsible for the development of a diverse immune system by catalyzing intra-molecular rearrangements of immunoglobulin (Ig) and T cell receptor (TCR) genes at specific recombination signal sequences (RSSs). This enzyme complex has also been implicated in mediating pathologic and non-pathologic intra- and inter-molecular genomic rearrangements at cryptic (Psi) RSSs outside the immune system loci in lymphoid cells. We describe here two V(D)J recombinase mediated genomic rearrangements resulting in alterations at the HPRT locus in human T-cells. These are inter-chromosomal insertions in which DNA fragments are inserted at breakpoints generated by V(D)J recombinase cleavage at Psi RSS sites in the HPRT locus at Xq26. In the first, a TCR signal ended segment from chromosome 14q11 is inserted at a Psi RSS in intron 1 of the HPRT locus. In the second, a DNA fragment from 9q22 is integrated between the coding ends generated by a V(D)J recombinase mediated HPRT deletion. Identification of these in vivo V(D)J mediated inter-chromosomal insertions at Psi RSSs in the HPRT gene supports the accumulating evidence that V(D)J recombinase can mediate mutagenic rearrangements in humans with potential pathologic consequences.

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