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V(D)J Recombination and the Evolution of the Adaptive Immune System


V(D)J Recombination and the Evolution of the Adaptive Immune System

Eleonora Market et al. PLoS Biol.


In order for the immune system to generate its vast numbers of receptors, B- and T-cell receptor genes are created by recombining preexisting gene segments. This well- coordinated set of reactions is explained


Figure 1
Figure 1. V(D)J Recombination Takes Place within the BCR and TCR Loci
(A) Schematic of a receptor locus.V, D, and J segments are found just upstream of the constant region. (B) A cartoon view of a VJ recombination reaction. V segments (red) are flanked by RSSs with 12 bp-long spacers (green), while the J segments are flanked by RSS with 23 bp-long spacers (orange). Breaks are introduced directly between the heptamer and the coding sequence, and a CJ is formed between a V and a J segment, while the RSS ends are put together to form an SJ within a circular DNA that is later lost. Symbols: P, promoter; E, enhancer.
Figure 2
Figure 2. RSSs Consist of a Fairly Conserved Heptamer and Nonamer Sequence, Separated by a Spacer Element
Heptamer is shown in red and nonamer in green. Conserved nucleotides are shown in bold. The spacer is either 12 or 23 bp long.

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