Recombination centres and the orchestration of V(D)J recombination

Nat Rev Immunol. 2011 Apr;11(4):251-63. doi: 10.1038/nri2941. Epub 2011 Mar 11.


The initiation of V(D)J recombination by the recombination activating gene 1 (RAG1) and RAG2 proteins is carefully orchestrated to ensure that antigen receptor gene assembly occurs in the appropriate cell lineage and in the proper developmental order. Here we review recent advances in our understanding of how DNA binding and cleavage by the RAG proteins are regulated by the chromatin structure and architecture of antigen receptor genes. These advances suggest novel mechanisms for both the targeting and the mistargeting of V(D)J recombination, and have implications for how these events contribute to genome instability and lymphoid malignancy.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chromatin / genetics
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics*
  • Gene Rearrangement, T-Lymphocyte
  • Genes, RAG-1 / genetics*
  • Homeodomain Proteins / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Receptors, Antigen / genetics
  • Recombination, Genetic
  • VDJ Exons / genetics*
  • VDJ Recombinases / genetics


  • Chromatin
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • Receptors, Antigen
  • V(D)J recombination activating protein 2
  • RAG-1 protein
  • VDJ Recombinases