New insight of human-IgH 3'regulatory regions in immunoglobulins switch

Gene. 2023 Apr 30:862:147254. doi: 10.1016/j.gene.2023.147254. Epub 2023 Feb 9.


Background: Several studies in animal models have demonstrated the role of the 3' Regulatory Region (3'RR) in the B cell maturation in mammals. In healthy humans, the concentration of each class of circulating immunoglobulins (Igs) has stable but different levels, due to several control mechanisms that also involve a duplicated version of the 3'RR on the chromosome 14 (chr14). The classes' equilibrium can be altered during infections and in other pathological conditions.

Material and methods: We studied the concentrations of IgA, IgM, IgG classes and IgG subclasses in a cohort of 1235 people having immunoglobulin concentrations within normal range to determine the presence of any correlation between the Igs serum concentrations, age and ratio among Ig classes and IgG subclasses in healthy humans. Furthermore, we assessed the concentrations of IgE and the allelic frequency of 3'RR1 hs1.2 enhancer in a group of 115 subjects with high levels of circulating IgE due to acute exacerbation of allergic asthma and in a control group of 118 healthy subjects.

Results: In both children and adult subjects, the concentrations of the four IgG subclasses decreased from IgG1 to IgG4. Furthermore, the 3'RR1 enhancer hs1.2 alleles contribute to the control of the IgG subclasses levels, but it does not affect the IgE levels.

Conclusion: The 3'RR1 controls IgG and IgE through different mechanisms, only in the IgG case involving the hs1.2 alleles. Thus, considering the IgH constant genes loci on the chromosome 14 and the multiple steps of switch that rearrange the whole region, we found that in humans the classes of Igs are modulated by mechanisms involving a complex interaction and transition between 3'RR1 and 3'RR2, also in physiological conditions.

Keywords: 3′Regulatory Region (3′RR); Enhancer hs1,2, alleles; Immunoglobulin heavy chain (IgH); Immunoglobulins (Igs).

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Child
  • Gene Frequency
  • Goats / genetics
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin E
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Immunoglobulins* / genetics
  • Mammals / genetics
  • Regulatory Sequences, Nucleic Acid*


  • Immunoglobulins
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Immunoglobulin E