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

Immunoglobulin variable region hypermutation in hybrids derived from a pre-B- and a myeloma cell line.

Somatic mutation of the variable (V) regions of immunoglobulin genes occurs in vivo at rates that have been estimated to be between 10(-3) and 10(-4) per bp per generation. To study this process in vitro, the 18.81 pre-B-cell line and hybrids derived by fusing 18.81 to the NSO myeloma fusion partner were transfected with a mu heavy-chain construct containing a nonsense mutation in the V region (Vn) or the constant region (Cn). Mutation was quantitated by reversion analysis using the ELISA spot assay to detect single cells secreting IgM. Fluctuation analysis revealed that V-region mutations spontaneously occurred in 18.81 cells at an average rate of 5.8 x 10(-6) per bp per cell generation and in selected 18.81-NSO hybrids at greatly increased rates of 1.6 x 10(-3) to 5.8 x 10(-4) per bp per generation. The Vn construct also reverted frequently in transgenic mice, indicating that it contained sufficient information to mutate at high rates both in vivo and in vitro. Sequence analysis of reverted genes revealed that reversion was due to point mutations. Since the rates and nature of the mutations that are occurring in these transfected genes are similar to those reported in vivo, it should be possible to use this system to identify the cis-acting sequences and trans-acting factors that are responsible for V-region somatic hypermutation.[1]


  1. Immunoglobulin variable region hypermutation in hybrids derived from a pre-B- and a myeloma cell line. Green, N.S., Rabinowitz, J.L., Zhu, M., Kobrin, B.J., Scharff, M.D. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (1995) [Pubmed]
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