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Trends Mol Med. 2006 Sep;12(9):432-9. Epub 2006 Jul 24.

Activation-induced deaminase: light and dark sides.

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DNA Hypermutation and Cancer Group, Spanish National Cancer Center (CNIO), Melchor Fernández Almagro 3, Madrid 28029, Spain.


Activation-induced deaminase (AID) is required for class switch recombination (CSR) and somatic hypermutation (SHM), which are responsible for secondary diversification of antibodies in germinal centers. AID initiates these processes by deamination of cytosines on the immunoglobulin (Ig) locus, a potentially mutagenic activity. AID expression is restricted to germinal-center B cells, but the mechanisms that regulate its target specificity are not completely understood. Here, we review the most recent findings on the regulation of AID targeting and discuss how AID activity on non-Ig genes is relevant to the generation of chromosome translocations and to lymphomagenesis.

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