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Biochimie. 1990 Jan;72(1):7-17.

Regulation of the immunoglobulin gene transcription.

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Laboratoire d'Immunogénétique Moléculaire, URA CNRS 1191, Université de Montpellier II, France.


The transcription of the immunoglobulin heavy (IGH), kappa (IGK) and lambda (IGL) chain genes is coordinate and B lymphocyte specific. This expression of the immunoglobulin genes is under the control of regulatory elements: the promoters located 5' of each variable (V) gene and the enhancers located between the joining and constant genes in the IGH and IGK locus and downstream on the C kappa gene. These sequences represent sites for the binding of transcription factors. A 90-100 kDa ubiquitous proteins (NF-A1) as well as two specific B cell proteins (NF-A2, OTF-2B) bind to the octamer site of the V promoter and IGH enhancer. The NF-kB protein binds to the kB site in the intron kappa enhancer, but also to kB-like sites found in the promoter regions of other genes. This paper reviews the recent data on these factors and other transcription factors which bind to the promoters and enhancers of the immunoglobulin genes and control their expression.

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