Mutation of BCL-6 Gene in Normal B Cells by the Process of Somatic Hypermutation of Ig Genes

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Science  12 Jun 1998:
Vol. 280, Issue 5370, pp. 1750-1752
DOI: 10.1126/science.280.5370.1750

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Immunoglobulin (Ig) genes are hypermutated in B lymphocytes that are the precursors to memory B cells. The mutations are linked to transcription initiation, but non-Ig promoters are permissible for the mutation process; thus, other genes expressed in mutating B cells may also be subject to somatic hypermutation. Significant mutations were not observed in c-MYC, S14, or α-fetoprotein (AFP) genes, but BCL-6 was highly mutated in a large proportion of memory B cells of normal individuals. The mutation pattern was similar to that of Ig genes.

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