Contribution of Receptor Editing to the Antibody Repertoire

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Science  23 Feb 2001:
Vol. 291, Issue 5508, pp. 1541-1544
DOI: 10.1126/science.1056600

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Receptor editing, clonal deletion, and anergy are the mechanisms by which B cells maintain tolerance to self antigens. To determine the extent to which receptor editing shapes the normal antibody repertoire, we generated an immunoglobulin κ polymorphism that facilitates the detection of editing of immunoglobulin light chains in vivo. We found that B cells are targeted for editing during a 2-hour delay in development at the pre-BII cell stage, and that about 25% of all antibody molecules are produced by gene replacement. These results suggest that receptor editing represents a major force in shaping the antibody repertoire.

  • * Present address: Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand.

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

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