Author(s): Burstein Y, Breiner AV, Brandt CR, Milcarek C, Sweet RW, Warszawski D, Ziv E, Schechter I. Recent duplication and germ-line diversification of rat immunoglobulin kappa chain gene joining segments. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1982 Oct;79(19):5993-7.
Journal: Proceedings Of The National Academy Of Sciences Of The United States Of America, Volume 79, Issue 19, Oct 1982
Sequence determination of the joining segment gene (J) cluster in the kappa chain (J kappa) in the embryonic context demonstrates that rat genome contains seven J kappa gene segments that expanded from an ancestral cluster of five J kappa genes. The rat J segments are separated by about 300 base pairs (bp) and are flanked 5′ by the presumed variable region (V)/J recombination signal sequence and 3′ by the RNA splicing signal. Two of the J gene segments designated J2A and J2B and their 5′-flanking spacer DNA bear striking homology to J2 and its 5′-flanking spacer. Thus, the unit of duplication was the entire J kappa coding region and 5′ noncoding spacer (345 bp). The duplication probably occurred as two separate unequal crossing-over (UXO) events. The first UXO event can be confined to recombination within an identical stretch (14 bp long) located at the 3′ ends of the coding regions of J1 and J2. The second event could involve a longer segment (372 bp) of tight homology generated by the first UXO event, thus increasing the probability of repeated expansion of the same DNA segment. The sequence homology among the rat duplicated segments (98-99%) is larger than the homology between the corresponding rat and mouse segments (89%), showing that the rat J kappa gene expansion must have occurred after rat and mouse divergence 10 X 10(6) yr ago. We estimate that the first and second UXO events occurred 2 X 10(6) and 1 X 10(6) yr ago, respectively. J3 of rat and mouse share the same mutation (G leads to C) in the RNA splicing signal that presumably inactivates J3. This mutation preceded divergence of the two species. A mutation in the first nucleotide of codon 96 has occurred in both duplicated segments, the only position along 345 bp where J2, J2A, and J2B differ from each other. This results in three different amino acids at position 96 not present in any other J kappa. These mutations are physiologically significant because they diversify the third complementarity-determining region (CDR3) and, thus, may reflect selective pressure to increase antibody diversity. The germ-line diversification of CDR3 was exercised within the last 1-2 X 10(6) yr.