Coordinate Regulation of RAG1 and RAG2 by Cell Type-Specific DNA Elements 5' of RAG2

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Science  13 Aug 1999:
Vol. 285, Issue 5430, pp. 1080-1084
DOI: 10.1126/science.285.5430.1080

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RAG1 and RAG2 are essential for V(D)J recombination and lymphocyte development. These genes are thought to encode a transposase derived from a mobile genetic element that was inserted into the vertebrate genome 450 million years ago. The regulation of RAG1 and RAG2 was investigated in vivo with bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) transgenes containing a fluorescent indicator. Coordinate expression of RAG1 andRAG2 in B and T cells was found to be regulated by distinct genetic elements found on the 5′ side of the RAG2 gene. This observation suggests a mechanism by which asymmetrically disposed cis DNA elements could influence the expression of the primordial transposon and thereby capture RAGs for vertebrate evolution.

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