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Nature. 1982 Jul 22;298(5872):380-2.

Somatic variants of murine immunoglobulin lambda light chains.


Studies of the murine lambda light chains produced by myeloma cells provided the first evidence for somatic point mutation of germ-line variable (V) region genes. An examination of the variable regions of 19 lambda 1 chains revealed seven which differed from a common sequence by one to three amino acid substitutions. Subsequently, one of these presumed somatic variants of the single lambda 1 V gene was characterized by DNA sequence analysis of the rearranged functional gene. The predicted DNA sequence alteration was observed and no silent mutation was evident. These studies of lambda chain variants suggested that the hypervariable, complementarity-determining regions (CDRs) ht be a preferred site of somatic mutation because all seven characterized variants contained substitutions only in these regions. By contrast, comparisons of closely related kappa chain variable region amino acid sequences, and more recently VK and VH genes, have suggested that somatic mutation probably occurs in codons for both framework and CDR residues. To examine this apparent discrepancy between the sites of somatic mutations in lambda and kappa genes, we have determined the nucleotide sequence of two lambda 1 gene from hybridomas and a lambda 2 gene from a myeloma. These sequences demonstrate that somatic mutation in lambda genes can occur in both the framework and CDR residues.

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