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Experientia. 1994 Mar 15;50(3):270-6.

Gene conversion in the chicken immunoglobulin locus: a paradigm of homologous recombination in higher eukaryotes.

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Basel Institute for Immunology, Switzerland.


Gene conversion was first defined in yeast as a type of homologous recombination in which the donor sequence does not change. In chicken B cells, gene conversion builds the antigen receptor repertoire by introducing sequence diversity into the immunoglobulin genes. Immunoglobulin gene conversion continues at high frequency in an avian leukosis virus induced chicken B cell line. This cell line can be modified by homologous integration of transfected DNA constructs offering a model system for studying gene conversion in higher eukaryotes. In search for genes which might participate in chicken immunoglobulin gene conversion, we have identified chicken counterparts of the yeast RAD51, RAD52, and RAD54 genes. Disruption and overexpression of these genes in the chicken B cell line may clarify their role in gene conversion and gene targeting.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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