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Immunoglobulin Genes and Recombination – Lymphocyte Development

by Peter Delves, PhD
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    We heard a few seconds ago, how from a relatively small number of genes, you can make millions and millions and millions of different antibody molecules; and millions and millions and millions of T-cell receptor molecules. So let’s have a look at how that works. This is the immunoglobulin heavy chain gene locus, happens to be on chromosome 14; doesn’t really matter where it is, but happens to be on chromosome 14. And it consists of a number of gene segments, I sometimes call mini genes. And essentially there are four bunches of gene segments for the immunoglobulin heavy chains. So bunch of segments shown in blue here that are called the V or Variable region gene segments. And we have about 40 of these. So one’s called VH1, VH2, VH3, VH4, and so forth; round about 40 in total. We then have a bunch of D segments, Diversity segments shown in green here, and we have about 27 or so of those. Downstream or free prime in the DNA sequence from the D segments, there’s a bunch of J segments; we have about half a dozen of those indicated in red here. And then further downstream we have a total of nine Constant region gene segments, just one is shown here - Cµ. But there are a total of nine. So on the heavy chain gene locus, four bunches of gene segments: V - Variable, D - Diversity, J - Joining, and C - Constant. The light chains are organized in a somewhat similar way. They’re organization isn’t exactly identical but essentially there are bunches of gene segments. And the main difference really is that in the light chains there are no Diversity gene segments. So it consists simply of a bunch of V segments, J segments and C...

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Immunoglobulin Genes and Recombination – Lymphocyte Development by Peter Delves, PhD is from the course Adaptive Immune System. It contains the following chapters:

    • The Immunoglobulin Genes
    • Genetic Recombination of the Heavy Chain

    Included Quiz Questions

    1. 40
    2. 27
    3. 9
    4. 6
    5. 5
    1. Kappa and Lamda
    2. Alpha and Beta
    3. Lambda and Mu
    4. Kappa and Beta
    5. Kappa and Mu
    1. The light chain gene segments do not have a Diversity segment
    2. The light chains gene segments show much great diversity
    3. The light chain gene segments are longer and more complicated
    4. The light chain gene segments have a shorter variable region
    5. The light chain gene segments are not necessary in order to have a complete immunoglobulin
    1. ...create antigen receptors that can recognize each individual antigen in a specific way.
    2. ...combat antigens that are antibiotic resistant.
    3. ...create antigen receptors that do not attack the host.
    4. ...create an IgM and IgD that combat different antigens.
    5. ...create a variable region that differs between light chains and heavy chains.
    1. Hypervariable Regions
    2. Diversity Regions
    3. Leading Regions
    4. Constant Regions
    5. Joining Regions

    Author of lecture Immunoglobulin Genes and Recombination – Lymphocyte Development

     Peter Delves, PhD

    Peter Delves, PhD


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