The recombination activating gene-1 (RAG-1) transcript is present in the murine central nervous system

Cell. 1991 Jan 11;64(1):189-200. doi: 10.1016/0092-8674(91)90220-s.


The recombination activating genes, RAG-1 and RAG-2, are likely to encode components of the V(D)J site-specific recombination machinery. We report here the detection of low levels of the RAG-1 transcript in the murine central nervous system by polymerase chain reaction, in situ hybridization, and Northern blot analyses. In contrast, an authentic RAG-2 transcript could not be detected reproducibly in the central nervous system. The RAG-1 transcript was found to be widespread in embryonic and postnatal neurons, with transcription being most apparent in regions of the postnatal brain with a high neuronal cell density (the cerebellum and the hippocampal formation). The results suggest that RAG-1 functions in neurons, where its role might be to recombine elements of the neuronal genome site-specifically, or to prevent detrimental alterations of the genome in these long-lived cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aging
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Brain / cytology
  • Brain / embryology
  • Brain / growth & development
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Cell Division / drug effects
  • Cell Line
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Cytarabine / pharmacology
  • Genes*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Neurons / metabolism*
  • Nucleic Acid Hybridization
  • Oligonucleotide Probes
  • Organ Specificity
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • RNA Probes
  • Recombination, Genetic*
  • Teratoma
  • Transcription, Genetic* / drug effects
  • Tretinoin / pharmacology


  • Oligonucleotide Probes
  • RNA Probes
  • Cytarabine
  • Tretinoin