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Sequencing of modern Lepus VDJ genes shows that the usage of VHn genes has been retained in both Oryctolagus and Lepus that diverged 12 million years ago

AuthorsPinheiro, Ana; Fernández de Mera, Isabel G.; Alves, Paulo C.; Gortázar, Christian ; Fuente, José de la ; Esteves, Pedro J.
Vh allotypes
Antibody diversification
Issue Date2013
CitationImmunogenetics 65(11): 777-784 (2013)
AbstractAmong mammals, the European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) has a unique mechanism of generating the primary antibody repertoire. Despite having over 200 VH genes, the VH1 gene, the most d-proximal VH gene, is used in 80-90 % of VDJ rearrangements, while the remaining 10-20 % is encoded by the VHn genes that map at least 100 Kb upstream of VH1. The maintenance of the VHn genes usage in low frequency in VDJ rearrangements has been suggested to represent a relic of an ancestral immunologic response to pathogens. To address this question, we sequenced VDJ genes for another leporid, genus Lepus, which separated from European rabbit 12 million years ago. Approximately 25 VDJ gene sequences were obtained for each one of three Lepus europaeus individuals. We found that Lepus also uses the VHn genes in 5-10 % of its VDJ rearrangements. Our results show that the VHn genes are a conserved ancestral polymorphism that has been maintained in the leporids genome and is being used for the generation of VDJ rearrangements by both modern Lepus and Oryctolagus.
Identifiersdoi: 10.1007/s00251-013-0728-3
issn: 0093-7711
e-issn: 1432-1211
Appears in Collections:(IREC) Artículos
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