R-loops at immunoglobulin class switch regions in the chromosomes of stimulated B cells

Kefei Yu, Frederic Chedin, Chih Lin Hsieh, Thomas E. Wilson, Michael R. Lieber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

469 Scopus citations

Abstract

The mechanism responsible for immunoglobulin class switch recombination is unknown. Previous work has shown that class switch sequences have the unusual property of forming RNA-DNA hybrids when transcribed in vitro. Here we show that the RNA-DNA hybrid structure that forms in vitro is an R-loop with a displaced guanine (G)-rich strand that is single-stranded. This R-loop structure exists in vivo in B cells that have been stimulated to transcribe the γ3 or the γ2b switch region. The length of the R-loops can exceed 1 kilobase. We propose that this distinctive DNA structure is important in the class switch recombination mechanism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)442-451
Number of pages10
JournalNature Immunology
Volume4
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology

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