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

Immunoglobulin J chain gene from the mouse.

During a primary immune response, murine B lymphocytes are induced to express the gene for the immunoglobulin J chain. As a first step in determining the mechanism of induction, genomic DNA clones encoding the murine J chain were obtained from cell lines representative of B lymphocytes before and after J chain expression. Analysis of the coding regions showed that the J chain gene has a different structure from the other immunoglobulin genes. It consists of four exons organized in a simple 7.3-kilobase transcription unit that does not require DNA rearrangement or alternative processing for expression. These structural properties indicate that transcription of the J chain gene is initiated by changes in chromatin conformation, probably involving a J chain-specific DNA-binding factor. Analysis of the 5' flanking sequences of the J chain gene, on the other hand, showed that the promoter region contains two conserved elements that have been implicated in the lymphocyte-specific expression of the light chain genes. The sharing of these elements suggests that, once the J chain gene is activated, its transcription is regulated by mechanisms similar to those controlling the light chain genes.[1]


  1. Immunoglobulin J chain gene from the mouse. Matsuuchi, L., Cann, G.M., Koshland, M.E. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (1986) [Pubmed]
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