A recurrent breakpoint in the most common deletion of the Ig heavy chain locus (del A1-GP-G2-G4-E)

Alfredo Brusco, Silvia Saviozzi, Fernanda Cinque, Andrea Bottaro, Mario DeMarchi

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11 Scopus citations


Human Ig heavy chain constant regions are encoded by a cluster of genes, the IGHC locus, on 14q32.3. Several forms of IGHC deletions and duplications spanning one to five genes have been described in different populations, with frequencies of 1.5-3.5% and 4.5-44%, respectively. Despite the common occurrence of these gene rearrangements, little is known about the breakpoint sites; evidence obtained from deletions in the IGHC locus and in other regions of the human genome suggests that they preferentially occur in highly homologous regions and might be favored by a variety of recombinogenic signals. We present here a detailed study of three homozygotes for the most common type of IGHC multiple gene deletion, spanning the A1-GP-G2-G4-E genes. Using a combination of Southern blotting, long-range PCR, and automated sequencing, the unequal crossover events of all of the six studied haplotypes have been mapped to a region of ~2 kb with almost complete homology between EP1-A1 and E-A2, flanked by two minisatellites. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that segments of complete homology may be required for efficient homologous recombination in humans. The possible role of minisatellites as recombination signals is inferred, in agreement with current knowledge.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4392-4398
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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