Somatic hypermutation: subverted DNA repair

Stella A. Martomo, Patricia J. Gearhart

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


Somatic hypermutation generates high-affinity antibodies of different isotypes that efficiently protect us against a plethora of pathogens. Recent analyses of the types of mutations produced in gene-deficient mice have indicated how DNA repair proteins are drawn into the pathway. Activation-induced cytosine deaminase begins the process by deaminating cytosine to uracil in DNA. The uracils are then recognized by the base excision repair protein uracil DNA glycosylase and by the mismatch repair proteins MutS homologue 2 and MutS homologue 6. Instead of repairing the uracils, these proteins attract low fidelity DNA polymerases, which synthesize nucleotide substitutions at an unprecedented level.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)243-248
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Opinion in Immunology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2006


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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