Biochemistry of V(D)J Recombination

  • D. G. Schatz
  • E. Spanopoulou
Part of the Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology book series (CT MICROBIOLOGY, volume 290)


The genes that encode immunoglobulin and T cell receptor proteins are assembled from component gene segments in a reaction known as V(D)J recombination. The reaction, and its crucial mediators RAG1 and RAG2, are essential for lymphocyte development and hence for adaptive immunity. Here we consider the biochemistry of this reaction, focusing on the DNA transactions and the proteins involved. We discuss how the RAG proteins interact with DNA and how coordinate cleavage of the DNA at two sites might be achieved. Finally, we consider the RAG proteins and V(D)J recombination from an evolutionary point of view.


Severe Combine Immune Deficiency Recombination Signal Recombination Signal Sequence Hairpin Formation Antigen Receptor Locus 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. G. Schatz
    • 1
  • E. Spanopoulou
    • 2
  1. 1.Section of Immunobiology, Howard Hughes Medical InstituteYale University School of MedicineNew HavenUSA
  2. 2.Ruttenberg Cancer CenterMount Sinai School of MedicineNew YorkUSA

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