The V(D)J recombination activating gene, RAG-1

Cell. 1989 Dec 22;59(6):1035-48. doi: 10.1016/0092-8674(89)90760-5.


The RAG-1 (recombination activating gene-1) genomic locus, which activates V(D)J recombination when introduced into NIH 3T3 fibroblasts, was isolated by serial genomic transfections of oligonucleotide-tagged DNA. A genomic walk spanning 55 kb yielded a RAG-1 genomic probe that detects a single 6.6-7.0 kb mRNA species in transfectants and pre-B and pre-T cells. RAG-1 genomic and cDNA clones were biologically active when introduced into NIH 3T3 cells. Nucleotide sequencing of human and mouse RAG-1 cDNA clones predicts 119 kd proteins of 1043 and 1040 amino acids, respectively, with 90% sequence identity. RAG-1 has been conserved between species that carry out V(D)J recombination, and its pattern of expression correlates exactly with the pattern of expression of V(D)J recombinase activity. RAG-1 may activate V(D)J recombination indirectly, or it may encode the V(D)J recombinase itself.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Biological Evolution
  • Cell Line
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • DNA Nucleotidyltransferases / genetics
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Gene Library
  • Gene Rearrangement, T-Lymphocyte*
  • Genes, Immunoglobulin*
  • Genomic Library
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Nucleic Acid Hybridization
  • Oligonucleotide Probes
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / genetics*
  • Recombination, Genetic*
  • Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Transfection
  • VDJ Recombinases


  • Oligonucleotide Probes
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell
  • DNA Nucleotidyltransferases
  • VDJ Recombinases

Associated data

  • GENBANK/M29474
  • GENBANK/M29475