Subnuclear Compartmentalization of Immunoglobulin Loci During Lymphocyte Development

Science  05 Apr 2002:
Vol. 296, Issue 5565, pp. 158-162
DOI: 10.1126/science.1068768

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Immunoglobulin (Ig) loci are selectively activated for transcription and rearrangement during B lymphocyte development. Using fluorescence in situ hybridization, we show that Ig heavy (H) and Igκ loci are preferentially positioned at the nuclear periphery in hematopoietic progenitors and pro-T cells but are centrally configured in pro-B nuclei. The inactive loci at the periphery do not associate with centromeric heterochromatin. Upon localization away from the nuclear periphery in pro-B cells, the IgH locus appears to undergo large-scale compaction. We suggest that subnuclear positioning represents a novel means of regulating transcription and recombination of IgH and Igκ loci during lymphocyte development.

  • * Present address: Division of Basic Sciences, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, 1100 Fairview Avenue North, Seattle, WA 98109, USA.

  • To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: hsingh{at}

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