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Genomic structure of the human Ig lambda 1 gene suggests that it may be expressed as an Ig lambda 14.1-like protein or as a canonical B cell Ig lambda light chain: implications for Ig lambda gene evolution


Genomic structure of the human Ig lambda 1 gene suggests that it may be expressed as an Ig lambda 14.1-like protein or as a canonical B cell Ig lambda light chain: implications for Ig lambda gene evolution



Journal of Experimental Medicine 173(2): 305-311



ISSN/ISBN: 0022-1007

PMID: 1703205

In pre-B cells, immunoglobulin .mu. (Ig.mu.) is associated with pre-B cell-specific proteins to form a multimeric complex that is found on the cell surface. One of these proteins is encoded by the three exon Ig.lambda.-like gene 14.1, whose expression is restricted to pre-B cells and occurs from an unrearranged gene. A comparison of the 14.1 gene structure to the seven-gene human Ig.lambda. locus revealed that the most 5' gene, Ig.lambda.1, is organized in a three-exon structure very similar to the 14.1 gene. Transcription and splicing of these three-exon sequences would lead to an mRNA with an open reading frame which could encode a light (L) chain-like protein with a molecular weight of 23,045. Our analysis suggests that two transcripts may be produced from the Ig.lambda.1 gene that share the same Ig.lambda.1 constant region-containing third exon. One transcript would include all three 14.1-related exons and be expressed from the germline gene, and the second transcript would be produced after variable-joining (V-J) recombination has occurred to Ig.lambda.J1 and would encode a classic Ig.lambda. L chain protein. The conservation of the genomic organization of the human 14.1 and Ig.lambda.1 genes and the mouse homolog, .lambda.5 relative to the classic Ig.lambda. L chain genes provides insight into the evolution of Ig genes.

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