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

The Eb beta gene may have acted as the donor gene in a gene conversion-like event generating the Abm 12 beta mutant.

At least two different class II histocompatibility antigens, I-A and I-E, are encoded by the murine major histocompatibility complex. Both types of class II antigens are composed of polypeptide chains called alpha and beta. Class II antigens display extensive genetic polymorphism, the main part of which resides in the NH2-terminal domains of the A alpha, A beta and E beta chains. Recently it was shown that the mutant gene Abm 12 beta differed from the wild-type gene Ab beta by three nucleotide substitutions, which all occur within a stretch of 14 nucleotides. Multiple substitutions of the type found in the Abm 12 beta gene suggest that the mutant arose by a gene conversion-like event. To examine whether the Eb beta gene may have served as the donor gene in the generation of the Abm 12 beta gene, we have isolated and sequenced a cDNA clone corresponding to the Eb beta gene. Comparisons of the Eb beta, the Ab beta and the Abm 12 beta nucleotide sequences revealed that the Eb beta sequence is identical to that of Abm 12 beta in the positions where the latter differs from the Ab beta sequence. This observation is consistent with the notion that the Abm 12 beta mutant gene arose by a gene conversion-like event involving the Eb beta gene.[1]


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