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Cell. 1987 Feb 13;48(3):379-88.

A hyperconversion mechanism generates the chicken light chain preimmune repertoire.


The chicken immunoglobulin light chain repertoire has been shown to be entirely derived from a single V lambda 1-J rearranged combination. The complete coding information of the lambda locus was determined: it comprises 25 V-hybridizing elements, all of which are pseudogenes, clustered in both orientations within 19 kb of DNA, starting 2.4 kb upstream of the V lambda 1 gene. Sequences of somatically rearranged V lambda 1 genes from embryonic and posthatching bursal cells show that diversification of light chain sequences occurs during ontogeny by a segmental gene conversion mechanism which takes place at a frequency of 0.05-0.1 per cell generation between the pseudogene pool and the unique rearranged functional V gene.

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