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Antibody VH transgenes containing small amounts of natural 5' and 3' flanking DNA undergo nonreciprocal homologous recombination with the endogenous Igh locus in B cells. The resulting "hybrid" heavy chain loci are generated at a low frequency but are fully functional, undergoing somatic hypermutation and isotype class switching. We have used this(More)
A somatic process introduces mutations into antibody variable (V) region genes at a high rate in many vertebrates, and is a major source of antibody diversity. The mechanism of this hypermutation process remains enigmatic, although retrospective studies and transgenic experiments have recently suggested a role for transcriptional regulatory elements. Here,(More)
The factors regulating germinal center (GC) B cell fate are poorly understood. Recent studies have defined a crucial role for the B cell-activating factor belonging to TNF family (BAFF; also called BLyS) in promoting primary B cell survival and development. A role for this cytokine in antigen-driven B cell responses has been suggested but current data in(More)
Germinal centers (GCs) are specialized structures in which B lymphocytes undergo clonal expansion, class switch recombination, somatic hypermutation, and affinity maturation. Although these structures were previously thought to contain a limited number of isolated B cell clones, recent in vivo imaging studies revealed that they are in fact dynamic and(More)
Recently, results obtained from mice with targeted inactivations of postreplication DNA mismatch repair (MMR) genes have been interpreted to demonstrate a direct role for MMR in antibody variable (V) gene hypermutation. Here we show that mice that do not express the MMR factor Msh2 have wide-ranging defects in antigen-driven B cell responses. These include(More)
The expression of different sets of immunoglobulin specificities by fetal and adult B lymphocytes is a long-standing puzzle in immunology. Recently it has become clear that production of immunoglobulin mu heavy chain and subsequent assembly with a surrogate light chain to form the pre-B cell receptor complex is critical for development of B cells. Here we(More)
We have constructed lines of mice with transgenes containing an antibody heavy (H) chain variable region (VHDJH) gene and various amounts of natural immunoglobulin (Ig) and plasmid flanking DNA. In these lines, recombination of the transgene and the endogenous Igh locus takes place in B cells, leading to the expression of functional H chains partially(More)
We investigated the role of apoptosis in the development of B cell memory by analyzing the (p-azophenylarsonate) Ars response in a line of A strain mice in which expression of human Bcl-2 was enforced in the B cell compartment. Previous studies of the Ars immune response in these A. Bcl-2 mice, demonstrated that a large percentage of the antibodies(More)
YY1 has been implicated as a master regulator of germinal center B cell development as YY1 binding sites are frequently present in promoters of germinal center-expressed genes. YY1 is known to be important for other stages of B cell development including the pro-B and pre-B cells stages. To determine if YY1 plays a critical role in germinal center(More)
Mice with transgenes containing an antibody H chain V region (V.DJ.) gene were used in an analysis of the c/s-acting elements required for hypermutation of immunoglobulin (Ig) V genes. These transgenes can somatically recombine with endogenous IgH DNA, leading to the formation of functional heavy (H) chains partially encoded by the transgenic VsDJ.. The(More)