Organization and evolution of immunoglobulin V(H) gene subgroups

G. Rechavi, B. Bienz, D. Ram, Y. Ben-Neriah, J. B. Cohen, R. Zakut, D. Givol

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The organization and evolution of immunoglobulin variable region genes was studied by comparing human and mouse heavy chain variable region (V(H)) genes. We show that a V(H) gene subgroup constitutes a physically linked multigene family separated from another V(H) subgroup. We mapped the V(H)III gene subgroup to be 3' to the V(H)II gene subgroup based on deletion of V(H) genes after V-D-J rearrangement. The results indicate that the human V(H)III gene subgroup underwent a significant gene expansion as compared to the mouse V(H)III subgroup. Amino acid sequence data indicate that human V(H)III genes correspond to only a small subset of mouse V(H)III genes. Human V(H)III contain a shorter intron and are two codons shorter than most BALB/c mouse V(H)III genes. The nature of nucleotide substitutions between V(H) genes within a species (human) is similar to that between genes of different species (human/mouse). Both contain approximately 50% silent substitutions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4405-4409
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number14 I
StatePublished - 1982
Externally publishedYes


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