Immunoglobulin heavy chain gene organization and complexity in the skate, Raja erinacea.
ABSTRACT: Immunoglobulin heavy chain genes from Raja erinacea have been isolated by cross hybridization with probes derived from the immunoglobulin genes of Heterodontus francisci (horned shark), a representative of a different elasmobranch order. Heavy chain variable (VH), diversity (DH) and joining (JH) segments are linked closely to constant region (CH) exons, as has been described in another elasmobranch. The nucleotide sequence homology of VH gene segments within Raja and between different elasmobranch species is high, suggesting that members of this phylogenetic subclass may share one VH family. The organization of immunoglobulin genes segments is diverse; both VD-J and VD-DJ joined genes have been detected in the genome of non-lymphoid cells. JH segment sequence diversity is high, in contrast to that seen in a related elasmobranch. These data suggest that the clustered V-D-J-C form of immunoglobulin heavy chain organization, including germline joined components, may occur in all subclasses of elasmobranchs. While variation in VH gene structure is limited, gene organization appears to be diverse.
Project description:Immunoglobulin heavy chain genes in Raja erinacea (little skate) are organized in clusters consisting of VH, DH, JH segments and CH exons (1). An immunoglobulin heavy chain mu-like isotype that exhibits 61-91% nucleotide sequence identity in coding segments to the Heterodontus francisci (horned shark) mu-type immunoglobulin is described. The overall length of the mu-type clusters is approximately 16 kb; transmembrane exons (TM1 and TM2) are located 3 to CH exon 4 (CH4). In three of four TM-containing genomic clones, a significant deletion is present in TM1. A second isotype of Raja immunoglobulin heavy chain genes has been detected by screening a spleen cDNA library with homologous Raja VH- and CH1-specific probes complementing the respective regions of the mu-like isotype. Weak hybridization with VH-specific probes and no discernable hybridization with C mu-specific probes were considered presumptive evidence for a second immunoglobulin isotype that nominally is designated as X-type. The Vx region of the X-type cDNA is approximately 60% identical at the nucleotide (nt) level to other Raja VH segments and thus represents a second VH family. Putative Dx and Jx sequences also have been identified. The constant region of the X-type immunoglobulin heavy chain gene consists of two characteristic immunoglobulin domains and a cysteine-rich carboxy terminal segment that are only partially homologous with the mu-like isotype. Genomic Southern blotting indicates that the V and C segments of both immunoglobulin heavy chain isotypes are encoded by complex multigene families. Vx- and different Cx-specific probes hybridize to different length transcripts in northern blot analyses of Raja spleen RNA suggesting that the regulation of expression of the X-type genes may involve differential RNA processing.
Project description:The immunoglobulin heavy-chain variable region (VH) locus in a phylogenetically primitive teleost (Elops saurus) has been characterized by a strategy that relied initially on cross-hybridization between genomic VH segments and a murine VH probe. Using a homologous (Elops) VH probe and DNA sequencing, this gene family has been shown to be complex and to contain overt pseudogenes. A homologous probe also has been used to isolate a full copy length cDNA containing constant (CH) as well as joining (JH) and VH regions. Genomic analyses using CH-, JH-, and VH-specific probes have demonstrated the presence of only a single hybridizing CH and several JH elements. JH-CH linkage is less than or equal to 3.6 kilobases (kb) and VH-CH linkage is less than or equal to 100 kb, as estimated by field-inversion gel electrophoresis. An additional VH family sharing less than 50% nucleotide identity with the prototype Elops VH sequence is described. Taken together, these results suggest that the immunoglobulin VH locus in a comparatively primitive teleost resembles the VH locus in mammals, but not that found in the more phylogenetically distant elasmobranchs. The evolutionary radiations of cartilaginous and bony fishes are associated with a dramatic change in the organization and, presumably, regulation of immunoglobulin genes. The origins of the modern VH gene locus can be traced to the primitive teleost fishes.
Project description:The living coelacanth Latimeria chalumnae is a relict species whose higher-level phylogenetic relationships have not been resolved clearly by traditional systematic approaches. Previous studies show that major differences in immunoglobulin gene structure and organization typify different phylogenetic lineages. To date, mammalian-, avian-, and elasmobranch-type gene organizations have been identified in representatives of these different phylads. A fourth form or organization is found in Latimeria, which possesses immunoglobulin heavy-chain variable region (VH) elements separated by approximately 190 nucleotides from diversity (D) elements. Adjacency of VH and D elements is characteristic of the elasmobranch "clustered" arrangement, although many other features of coelacanth VH gene organization and structure are more similar to those of bony fishes and tetrapods. These observations strongly support a phylogenetic hypothesis in which Latimeria occupies a sister-group relationship with teleosts and tetrapods.
Project description:We have constructed the physical map of the 3' region of the human immunoglobulin heavy chain variable region (VH) genes. DNA segments extending to 200 kb upstream of the JH segment were isolated in two YAC clones. Five VH segments were identified in this region in the 5' to 3' order, V(II-5), V(IV-4), V(I-3), V(I-2), and V(VI-1) segments which were all structurally normal and orientated in the same direction as the JH segments. From DNA of a different cell line we have isolated a cosmid contig containing the same DNA region which has extraordinary polymorphism. The YAC and cosmid DNAs were called haplotypes A and B, respectively. Haplotype B contained an additional VH-I segment (V(I-4.1b)) between the V(II-5) and V(IV-4) segments. V(I-4.1b) segment is almost identical to a previously published VH sequence encoding a rheumatoid factor. Another VH segment in the B haplotype (V(I-3b)) corresponding to the V(I-3) segment also showed 99.7% nucleotide sequence homology with an anti-DNA autoantibody VH sequence. However, none of the VH sequences in haplotype A showed such strong homology with autoantibody VH sequences. The results suggest that VH haplotypes may have linkage with autoantibody production.
Project description:Immunoglobulin heavy-chain variable region (TH) gene segments located closest to the joining (JH) gene segments are preferentially rearranged during ontogeny, indicating that chromosomal position influences the frequency of rearrangement. In addition, certain VH gene segments are repeatedly rearranged, suggesting that the DNA sequence or structure surrounding these segments may increase the probability of rearrangement. To determine whether there is similar based rearrangement of kappa variable (V kappa) gene segments, 25 rearrangements were sequenced from murine fetal and neonatal B-cell hybridomas and from subclones of a pre-B cell line that rearranged V kappa genes during in vitro culture. Four gene segments were isolated twice and one gene segment was isolated three times, suggesting that the process that targets individual variable gene segments for repeated rearrangement operates on both the VH and V kappa loci. Based on a current map of the V kappa locus, the rearranged gene segments belong to nine families that are dispersed throughout the locus. Thus, in these cell types, V kappa rearrangements use germ-line gene segments located across the entire locus, whereas the corresponding VH rearrangements use gene segments proximal to the JH gene segments. Heterogeneity of V kappa rearrangements would add diversity to the biased pool of VH rearrangements, producing a broad repertoire of antibodies early in development.
Project description:In all vertebrate species examined to date, rearrangement and somatic modification of gene segmental elements that encode portions of the antigen-combining sites of immunoglobulins are integral components of the generation of antibody diversity. In the phylogenetically primitive cartilaginous fishes, gene segments encoding immunoglobulin heavy and light chain loci are arranged in multiple clusters, in which segmental elements are separated by only 300-400 bp. In some cases, segmental elements are joined in the germline of nonlymphoid cells (joined genes). Both genomic library screening and direct amplification of genomic DNA have been used to characterize at least 89 different type I light chain gene clusters in the skate, Raja. Analyses of predicted nucleotide sequences and predicted peptide structures are consistent with the distribution of genes into different sequence groups. Predicted amino acid sequence differences are preferentially distributed in complementarity-determining versus framework regions, and replacement-type substitutions exceed neutral substitutions. When specific germline sequences are related to the sequences of individual cDNAs, it is apparent that the joined genes are expressed and are potentially somatically mutated. No evidence was found for the presence of any type I light chain gene in Raja that is not germline joined. The type I light chain gene clusters in Raja appear to represent a novel gene system in which combinatorial and junctional diversity are absent.
Project description:Nodal marginal zone B-cell lymphoma (NMZL) is actually considered as a distinct entity that must be distinguished from extra-nodal and splenic marginal zone lymphomas. To define the cell origin and the role of antigen stimulation we determined the nucleotide sequence of the tumor-related immunoglobulin heavy chain variable genes in 10 cases of NMZL. The results were also evaluated on the basis of the presence of chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. All 10 cases harbored VH somatic mutations with a sequence homology compared to the closest germline gene, ranging from 83.33 to 98.28%. Interestingly, different VH segments were preferentially used in HCV-positive and HCV-negative patients: three of five HCV-negative NMZLs used a VH4-34 segment joined with different D and JH segments whereas three of five HCV-positive NMZLs used a VH1-69 gene joined with a D3-22 and a JH4 segment, with very strong similarities in the CDR3s among the three different cases. These data indicate: 1) NMZL is derived from B cells that have experienced the germinal center reaction; 2) the preferential usage of a VH1-69 segment in the majority of the HCV-positive NMZL cases with similar CDR3s suggests the presence of a common antigen, probably a HCV antigen epitope, involved in the B-cell selection; and 3) the use of a VH4-34 segment suggests a role of yet unknown B-cell superantigen(s) in the selection of tumor B-cell precursors in HCV-negative NMZL.
Project description:Antibody variable domain sequence diversity is generated by recombination of germline segments. The third complementarity-determining region of the heavy chain (CDR H3) is the region of highest sequence diversity and is formed by the joining of heavy chain VH, DH and JH germline segments combined with random nucleotide trimming and additions between these segments. We show that CDR H3 and junctional segment length distributions are biased in human antibody repertoires as a function of VH, VL and JH germline segment utilization. Most length biases are apparent in the naive and antigen experienced B cell compartments but not in nonproductive recombination products, indicating B cell selection as a major driver of these biases. Our findings reveal biases in the antibody CDR H3 diversity landscape shaped by VH, VL, and JH germline segment use during naive and antigen-experienced repertoire selection.
Project description:During B lymphocyte development, immunoglobulin heavy-chain variable (VH), diversity (DH), and joining (JH) segments assemble to generate a diverse antigen receptor repertoire. Here, we have marked the distal VH and DH-JH-E? regions with Tet-operator binding sites and traced their 3D trajectories in pro-B cells transduced with a retrovirus encoding Tet-repressor-EGFP. We found that these elements displayed fractional Langevin motion (fLm) due to the viscoelastic hindrance from the surrounding network of proteins and chromatin fibers. Using fractional Langevin dynamics modeling, we found that, with high probability, DHJH elements reach a VH element within minutes. Spatial confinement emerged as the dominant parameter that determined the frequency of such encounters. We propose that the viscoelastic nature of the nuclear environment causes coding elements and regulatory elements to bounce back and forth in a spring-like fashion until specific genomic interactions are established and that spatial confinement of topological domains largely controls first-passage times for genomic interactions.
Project description:V(D)J recombination at the immunoglobulin heavy chain (IgH) locus follows the 12/23 rule to ensure the correct assembly of the variable region gene segments. Here, we report characterization of an in vivo model that allowed us to study recombination violating the 12/23 rule, namely a mouse strain lacking canonical D elements in its IgH locus. We demonstrate that VH to JH joining can support the generation of all B cell subsets. However, the process is inefficient in that B cells and antibodies derived from the DH-less allele are not detectable if the latter is combined with a wild-type IgH allele. There is no preferential usage of any particular VH gene family or JH element in VHJH junctions, indicating that 23/23-guided recombination is possible, but is a low frequency event at the IgH locus in vivo.