Substantial antibody variability is created when nucleotide substitutions are introduced into immunoglobulin variable genes by a controlled process of hypermutation. Evidence points to a mechanism involving DNA repair events at sites of targeted breaks. In vertebrate cells, there are many recently identified DNA polymerases that inaccurately copy templates. Some of these are candidates for enzymes that introduce base changes during hypermutation. Recent research has focused on possible roles for DNA polymerases ζ (POLZ), η (POLH), ι (POLI), and μ (POLM) in the process.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy