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Biotechniques. 1992 Jan;12(1):88-97.

Gene conversion of immunoglobulin variable regions in mutagenesis cassettes by replacement PCR mutagenesis.

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Cellular and Molecular Research Laboratory, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston 02144.


A technique, Replacement PCR Mutagenesis, was developed to replace one immunoglobulin variable region (V) in a M13 phage cassette with a different, homologous V. This allows the use of the same mutagenesis and subsequent expression vectors for many V regions or V segments. The method combines PCR of V fragments and in vitro mutagenesis. Primers homologous to 3' and 5' ends of both V regions initiate PCR synthesis of the V DNA fragment (donor) that will replace the V region (recipient) in M13. Donor V PCR DNA may originate from mRNA, cloned V genes or genomic templates. The donor V PCR DNA is denatured and annealed to the M13 cassette containing the recipient V to be supplanted. The second strand is synthesized, transfected into bacteria and mutant plaques selected by hybridization. Since restriction sites in primers are not required, altered primer-encoded amino acids are avoided. Further, the PCR donor piece can be of any length if it shares homology with the recipient gene. This allows construction and expression of complete gene replacements and chimeras. This method is also applicable to V "humanization" and studying sets of homologous genes containing polymorphic or evolutionary disparities. The potential uses of the technique are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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