Immunoglobulin genes are assembled during lymphoid development by a series of site-specific rearrangements that are tightly regulated to ensure that functional antibodies are generated in B (but not T) cells and that a unique receptor is present on each cell. Because a common V(D)J recombinase comprising RAG1 and RAG2 proteins is used for both B- and T-cell antigen receptor assembly, lineage-specific rearrangement must be modulated through differential access to sites of recombination. We show here that the C-terminus of the RAG2 protein, although dispensable for the basic recombination reaction and for Ig heavy chain D(H) to J(H) joining, is essential for efficient V(H) to DJ(H) rearrangement at the IgH locus. Thus, the RAG2 protein plays a dual role in V(D)J recombination, acting both in catalysis of the reaction and in governing access to particular loci.
- B-cell development
- V(D)J recombination
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)