Immunoglobulin J chain gene from the mouse

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1986 Jan;83(2):456-60. doi: 10.1073/pnas.83.2.456.


During a primary immune response, murine B lymphocytes are induced to express the gene for the immunoglobulin J chain. As a first step in determining the mechanism of induction, genomic DNA clones encoding the murine J chain were obtained from cell lines representative of B lymphocytes before and after J chain expression. Analysis of the coding regions showed that the J chain gene has a different structure from the other immunoglobulin genes. It consists of four exons organized in a simple 7.3-kilobase transcription unit that does not require DNA rearrangement or alternative processing for expression. These structural properties indicate that transcription of the J chain gene is initiated by changes in chromatin conformation, probably involving a J chain-specific DNA-binding factor. Analysis of the 5' flanking sequences of the J chain gene, on the other hand, showed that the promoter region contains two conserved elements that have been implicated in the lymphocyte-specific expression of the light chain genes. The sharing of these elements suggests that, once the J chain gene is activated, its transcription is regulated by mechanisms similar to those controlling the light chain genes.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Chromatin / ultrastructure
  • DNA / genetics
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Genes
  • Genetic Linkage
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin J-Chains / genetics*
  • Mice
  • Transcription, Genetic


  • Chromatin
  • Immunoglobulin J-Chains
  • DNA

Associated data

  • GENBANK/M12555
  • GENBANK/M12556
  • GENBANK/M12557