Genomic Organization of Murine and Human Immunoglobulin Light Chain Loci

Published on Jan 1, 2016
· DOI :10.1016/B978-0-12-374279-7.05007-4
Antibodies in humans and mice typically consist of two identical immunoglobulin heavy chains paired with two identical light chains, either kappa (Igκ) or lambda (Igλ), joined by disulfide bonds. B cells normally produce antibodies derived from a single heavy and a single light chain that recognize a single antigen, and thus are monospecific. The germ line Igκ and Igλ loci are complex units that coordinate ordered, cell- and stage-specific functions including chromatin structure and epigenetic state, variable rearrangement, gene expression, allelic exclusion, and somatic hypermutation. Although the Igκ and Igλ light chains are functionally analogous, the loci for Igκ and Igλ light chains possess distinct structures and functions that differ between chain type (Igκ vs Igλ) and species (mouse vs human). The diverse functions of the Igκ and Igλ light chain loci reflect the complex regulation necessary for antibody production in B cells for humoral immunity.
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