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Nat Immunol. 2011 Jan;12(1):62-9. doi: 10.1038/ni.1964. Epub 2010 Nov 28.

Deep-sequencing identification of the genomic targets of the cytidine deaminase AID and its cofactor RPA in B lymphocytes.

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Genomics & Immunity, National Institute of Arthritis, Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA.


The cytidine deaminase AID hypermutates immunoglobulin genes but can also target oncogenes, leading to tumorigenesis. The extent of AID's promiscuity and its predilection for immunoglobulin genes are unknown. We report here that AID interacted broadly with promoter-proximal sequences associated with stalled polymerases and chromatin-activating marks. In contrast, genomic occupancy of replication protein A (RPA), an AID cofactor, was restricted to immunoglobulin genes. The recruitment of RPA to the immunoglobulin loci was facilitated by phosphorylation of AID at Ser38 and Thr140. We propose that stalled polymerases recruit AID, thereby resulting in low frequencies of hypermutation across the B cell genome. Efficient hypermutation and switch recombination required AID phosphorylation and correlated with recruitment of RPA. Our findings provide a rationale for the oncogenic role of AID in B cell malignancy.

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