Localized epigenetic changes induced by D H recombination restricts recombinase to DJ H junctions

Ramesh Subrahmanyam, Hansen Du, Irina Ivanova, Tirtha Chakraborty, Yanhong Ji, Yu Zhang, Frederick W. Alt, David G. Schatz, Ranjan Sen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Genes encoding immunoglobulin heavy chains (Igh) are assembled by rearrangement of variable (V H), diversity (D H) and joining (J H) gene segments. Three critical constraints govern V H recombination. These include timing (V H recombination follows D H recombination), precision (V H gene segments recombine only to DJ H junctions) and allele specificity (V H recombination is restricted to DJ H-recombined alleles). Here we provide a model for these universal features of V H recombination. Analyses of DJ H-recombined alleles showed that DJ H junctions were selectively epigenetically marked, became nuclease sensitive and bound RAG recombinase proteins, which thereby permitted D H-associated recombination signal sequences to initiate the second step of Igh gene assembly. We propose that V H recombination is precise, because these changes did not extend to germline D H segments located 5′ of the DJ H junction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1205-1212
Number of pages8
JournalNature Immunology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology


Dive into the research topics of 'Localized epigenetic changes induced by D H recombination restricts recombinase to DJ H junctions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this