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Curr Opin Immunol. 1996 Apr;8(2):199-205.

Immunoglobulin class switching.

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Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester 01655-0122, USA.


Antibody class switching is induced by B-cell activators in the presence of cytokines. The identity of the heavy-chain class to which a B cell is switched is regulated by cytokines and B-cell activators at the level of transcription of unrearranged heavy chain constant genes. Gene-targeting experiments in mice have proved the essential role of these transcripts in switch recombination. Their possible functions are discussed in the context of a model for the mechanisms of class switching.

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