Reports

Switch transcripts in immunoglobulin class switching

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Science  24 Mar 1995:
Vol. 267, Issue 5205, pp. 1825-1828
DOI: 10.1126/science.7892607

Abstract

B cells can exchange gene segments for the constant region of the immunoglobulin heavy chain, altering the class and effector function of the antibodies that they produce. Class switching is directed to distinct classes by cytokines, which induce transcription of the targeted DNA sequences. These transcripts are processed, resulting in spliced "switch" transcripts. Switch recombination can be directed to immunoglobulin G1 (IgG) by the heterologous human metallothionein IIA promoter in mutant mice. Induction of the structurally conserved, spliced switch transcripts is sufficient to target switch recombination to IgG1, whereas transcription alone is not.