Dual role of RAG2 in V(D)J recombination: Catalysis and regulation of ordered Ig gene assembly

Susan A. Kirch, Gary A. Rathbun, Marjorie A. Oettinger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4881-4886
Number of pages6
JournalEMBO Journal
Issue number16
StatePublished - Aug 17 1998


  • B-cell development
  • Immunoglobulin
  • RAG2
  • V(D)J recombination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Molecular Biology
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology


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