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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Organization of immunoglobulin heavy chain constant and joining region genes in the channel catfish.

A channel catfish genomic lambda library was screened with CH and JH probes which were derived from our earlier sequence analyses on different full-length heavy chain cDNA clones. One clone, designated C7, contained a genomic insert of about 18 kb and hybridized with specific probes for each of the four domains of the known C region gene as well as with different oligonucleotides specific for JH gene segments. Southern blot hybridization analysis identified a cluster of JH gene segments which are closely linked to the CH gene. Sequence analysis of the CH-proximal JH element, located about 1.9 kb upstream from the CH1 domain, showed that this element contains 5'-recombination signals typical of JH elements defined in higher vertebrates, i.e. a nonamer, a 24 bp spacer, and a heptamer. The coding region of this JH element was identical to that contained in the variable region sequence of a cDNA clone previously reported. Sequence analysis of the catfish JH-CH intron suggests that several sequences are present which appear similar to important transcriptional regulatory elements found within JH-CH introns of higher vertebrates. These features include sequences similar to higher vertebrate enhancer elements and regulatory octamers. An additional feature reminiscent of some higher vertebrate heavy chain switch regions is a repetitive sequence area composed of tandemly repeated simple sequences. Lastly, several restriction length polymorphisms were identified and mapped within a 1 kb region located immediately upstream from the JH cluster. This finding suggests that polymorphisms within the IgH locus should be useful in the analyses of channel catfish populations. These combined studies provide further evidence that the genomic organization of heavy chain genes in bony fish shares common organizational features with those known from higher vertebrates.[1]


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