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Annu Rev Immunol. 2012;30:337-56. doi: 10.1146/annurev-immunol-020711-075003. Epub 2012 Jan 3.

Chromatin topology and the regulation of antigen receptor assembly.

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Division of Biological Sciences, Department of Molecular Biology, University of California at San Diego, La Jolla, California 92093-0377, USA.


During an organism's ontogeny and in the adult, each B and T lymphocyte generates a unique antigen receptor, thereby creating the organism's ability to respond to a vast number of different antigens. The antigen receptor loci are organized into distinct regions that contain multiple variable (V), diversity (D), and/or joining (J) and constant (C) coding elements that are scattered across large genomic regions. In this review, we discuss the epigenetic modifications that take place in the different antigen receptor loci, the chromatin structure adopted by the antigen receptor loci to allow recombination of elements separated by large genomic distances, and the relationship between epigenetics and chromatin structure and how they relate to the generation of antigen receptor diversity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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