Molecular Pathways and Mechanisms Regulating the Recombination of Immunoglobulin Genes during B-Lymphocyte Development

  • Kristen Johnson
  • Karen L. Reddy
  • Harinder Singh
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (volume 650)


The hallmark of B-cell development is the ordered recombination of immunoglobulin (Ig) genes. Recently, considerable progress has been achieved in assembling gene regulatory networks comprised of signaling components and transcription factors that regulate B-cell development. In this chapter we synthesize experimental evidence to explain how such signaling pathways and transcription factors can orchestrate the ordered recombination of immunoglobulin (Ig) genes. Recombination of antigen-receptor loci is regulated both by the developmentally controlled expression of the Rag1 and Rag2 genes and the accessibility of particular loci and their gene segments to recombination. A new framework has emerged that invokes nuclear compartmentalization, large-scale chromatin dynamics and localized changes in chromatin structure in regulating the accessibility of Ig loci at specific stages of B-cell development. We review this emergent framework and discuss new experimental approaches that will be needed to explore the underlying molecular mechanisms.


Pericentromeric Heterochromatin Recombination Signal Sequence Allelic Exclusion Common Lymphoid Progenitor Transcription Factor PaxS 
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

© Landes Bioscience and Springer Science+Business Media 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kristen Johnson
    • 1
  • Karen L. Reddy
    • 1
  • Harinder Singh
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology Howard Hughes Medical InstituteThe University of ChicagoChicagoUSA

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