V(D)J Recombination in Mature B Cells: A Mechanism for Altering Antibody Responses

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Science  10 Oct 1997:
Vol. 278, Issue 5336, pp. 298-301
DOI: 10.1126/science.278.5336.298

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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 centers by recombination of the variable (V), diversity (D), and joining (J) segments. The ability to alter immunoglobulin expression by V(D)J recombination in the selective environment of the germinal center may be an additional mechanism for inactivation or diversification of immune responses.

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