Clone: A Monte-Carlo Computer Simulation of B Cell Clonal Expansion, Somatic Mutation, and Antigen-Driven Selection
During clonal expansion of antigen (Ag)-stimulated B lymphocytes, the immunoglobulin (Ig) variable region (V) genes undergo point mutation at a high rate (McKean et al. 1984; Clarke et al. 1985). Somatic diversity results from the sequential accumulation of such mutations (Clarke et al. 1985; McKean et al. 1984; Cumano and Rajewsky 1986; Jacob et al. 1991b). These mutations, and selection of them by Ag, have important consequences for the kinetics, quality, and size of the resulting immune response. Hence, somatic mutation is a dynamic system and in this sense is distinct from mechanisms that shape the preimmune repertoire such as combinatorial joining and gene conversion.
KeywordsSomatic Mutation Germinal Center Clonal Expansion Burst Size Primary Immune Response
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