Transcriptional enhancers of immunoglobulin light chain genes in Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua)

Immunogenetics. 2000 Jul;51(8-9):647-58. doi: 10.1007/s002510000176.


The organization of immunoglobulin heavy (H) chain genes in teleosts resembles that of mammals and amphibians, whereas light (L) chain genes are arranged in multiple clusters of variable (VL), joining (JL), and constant (CL) region segments. Sequence analysis of two Atlantic cod genomic clones (14,966 and 13,116 bp in length) revealed a very compact IgL chain locus with the VL genes in opposite transcriptional orientation to the JL and the CL genes. This suggests the possibility of rearrangements between clusters by inversion. Each cluster spans approximately 2.1 kb and distances between clusters vary between 2.1 and 4.8 kb. To gain insight into the transcriptional regulation of this complex, multiclustered locus, chloramphenicol acetyl transferase reporter constructs containing 14 different DNA segments from the two genomic clones were transfected into channel catfish B and non-B-cell lines, as well as into mouse B-cell lines. These studies showed strong enhancer activity downstream of the CL region in three out of six L chain gene clusters when assayed in fish, but not in mouse B cells. Interestingly, both mouse and human lambda enhancers exhibited strong activity in the fish B cells, while the mouse 3' kappa enhancer did not. This suggests that transcription factors similar to those involved in mammalian lambda expression are present in B cells from teleosts.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Cell Line
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • DNA, Complementary
  • Enhancer Elements, Genetic*
  • Fishes / genetics*
  • Fishes / immunology
  • Humans
  • Ictaluridae
  • Immunoglobulin Constant Regions / genetics
  • Immunoglobulin Joining Region / genetics
  • Immunoglobulin Light Chains / genetics*
  • Immunoglobulin Variable Region / genetics
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Multigene Family
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Tissue Distribution
  • Transcription, Genetic*


  • DNA, Complementary
  • Immunoglobulin Constant Regions
  • Immunoglobulin Joining Region
  • Immunoglobulin Light Chains
  • Immunoglobulin Variable Region

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AF104898
  • GENBANK/AF104899