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

Retention of an idiotypic determinant in a human B-cell lymphoma undergoing immunoglobulin variable-region mutation.

Tumor cells from a patient with B-cell lymphoma were fused with a mouse myeloma cell line. A set of heterohybridomas was thus derived, each of which represented a separate clonal derivative from the tumor cell population. The immunoglobulins secreted by these cell lines reacted variably with a panel of anti-idiotypic antibodies, indicating that the tumor was heterogeneous; however, one antibody, 4D6, reacted strongly with the product of all the heterohybridomas. cDNA for the immunoglobulin heavy chain variable-region genes expressed in these heterohybridomas was cloned and sequenced. Comparison of these sequences indicated that the cells expressing them were clonally related but that they had undergone considerable mutation. Despite mutation, the cells in this tumor population continued to express a functional immunoglobulin molecule and to retain, over a span of 3 years, the idiotypic determinant defined by the 4D6 monoclonal antibody. Thus a selective force existed within the host to retain tumor cells bearing an immunoglobulin molecule with a particular idiotypic structure.[1]


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