Polymorphism and Evolution of Igh-V Gene Families
The immunoglobulin heavy chain locus (Igh) is located on chromosome 12 of the mouse. It is a complex locus, containing over one hundred variable region gene segments (Igh-V or Vh), approximately 12 diversity (Dh), 4 joining (Jh) and 8 constant region (Igh-C or Ch) gene segments. Although extensive diversity of antibody structures is generated in the assembly of active variable region genes by fusion of all combinations of V, D and J, it is apparent that there is as well a very high degree of genetic polymorphism at this locus. Examination of a panel of eighteen inbred strains selected to represent a variety of constant region allotypes (Igh-C alleles) revealed correlated allelism of the entire array of Vh and Dh gene segments (Brodeur and Riblet 1984; Brodeur et al. 1984). The extent of this genetic diversity parallels that of the MHC (Klein 1975) consistent with the parallel importance of this locus in protecting an individual from a variable environment. In this study we present further examination of the extent of this polymorphism and some aspects of the evolution of the locus.
KeywordsEDTA Recombination Agarose Electrophoresis Alan
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