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Eur J Immunol. 1996 Apr;26(4):870-4.

Translatable immunoglobulin germ-line transcript.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of California, San Francisco 94143-0670, USA.


During B cell differentiation, the functional genes encoding immunoglobulin (Ig) heavy (H) and light (L) chains are generated by two rearrangement processes--VDJ rearrangement generates the exon encoding the Ig variable (V) regions, and the class switch reconstructs a rearranged IgH gene by exchanging the segment encoding the constant (C) region, which determines the Ig class. Both types of rearrangement are preceded by transcripts originating from a transcriptional start site 5' of the I exon, which is then spliced to the C exons. These germ-line transcripts, which are thought to be necessary for the initiation of both types of rearrangement, are said to be sterile. We demonstrate here that the mu germ-line transcript is translatable into a polypeptide chain, to which we assign the symbol psi. Thus, protein products of these transcripts might be part of or signal to the recombinases that catalyze Ig gene rearrangement.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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