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Activation-induced deaminase (AID) is a protein indispensable for the diversification of immunoglobulin (Ig) genes by somatic hypermutation (SHM), class switch recombination (CSR), and gene conversion. To date, the precise role of AID in these processes has not been determined. Here we demonstrate that purified, tetrameric AID can deaminate cytidine(More)
Isotype switching is the DNA recombination mechanism by which antibody genes diversify immunoglobulin effector functions. In contrast to V(D)J recombination, which is mediated by RAG1, RAG2 and DNA double-stranded break (DSB) repair proteins, little is known about the mechanism of switching. We have investigated the role of DNA DSB repair in switch(More)
The clonal selection theory states that B lymphocytes producing high-affinity immunoglobulins are selected from a pool of cells undergoing antibody gene mutation. Somatic hypermutation is a well-documented mechanism for achieving diversification of immune responses in mature B cells. Antibody genes were also found to be modified in such cells in germinal(More)
Activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID) is a single-stranded DNA deaminase required for somatic hypermutation of immunoglobulin (Ig) genes, a key process in the development of adaptive immunity. Transcription provides a single-stranded DNA substrate for AID, both in vivo and in vitro. We present here an assay which can faithfully replicate all of the(More)
Somatic hypermutation and class switch recombination cause genetic alterations in immunoglobulin (Ig) genes, which underlie the generation of the secondary antibody repertoire in B lymphocytes. Both processes require activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID), whose mechanism of action in not yet known in detail, but which mediates the accumulation of(More)
Despite the importance of hairpin opening in antigen receptor gene assembly, the molecular machinery that mediates this reaction has not been defined. Here, we show that RAG1 plus RAG2 can open DNA hairpins. Hairpin opening by RAGs is not sequence specific, but in Mg2+, hairpin opening occurs only in the context of a regulated cleavage complex. The chemical(More)
Antigen receptor gene rearrangement is directed by DNA motifs consisting of a conserved heptamer and nonamer separated by a nonconserved spacer of either 12 or 23 base pairs (12 or 23 recombination signal sequences [RSS]). V(D)J recombination requires that the rearranging DNA segments be flanked by RSSs of different spacer lengths, a phenomenon known as the(More)
During V(D)J recombination, processing of branched coding end intermediates is essential for generating junctional diversity. Here, we report that the RAG1/ RAG2 recombinase is a 3' flap endonuclease. Substrates of this nuclease activity include various coding end intermediates, suggesting a direct role for RAG1/ RAG2 in generating junctional diversity(More)
Antigen receptor genes are assembled through a mechanism known as V(D)J recombination, which involves two different joining reactions: signal and coding joining. Formation of these joints is essential for antigen receptor assembly as well as maintaining chromosomal integrity. Here we report on a cell-free system for coding joint formation using deletion and(More)
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