Stage-specific transcription of germline IgH C gamma and C alpha regions during human B cell differentiation.

Academic Article


  • Previous studies have suggested that transcription of germline heavy chain constant region (CH) genes in murine B cells may determine the potential of their different CH regions to undergo isotype switch recombination. We have examined the transcriptional activity across the immunoglobulin heavy chain (IgH) locus in human B lineage cells. Transcription of germline C gamma and C alpha was observed in every surface IgM+ or surface IgM+/IgD+ B cell stage cell line and malignancy. In contrast, such transcription could not be detected in pre-B cells and only low levels of C alpha but not C gamma transcription were evident in IgM-secreting plasmablast cells. Transcriptional activity of germline IgH C epsilon was singularly absent at all stages of B cell development. Our results suggest that germline transcription of the C gamma and C alpha regions may be a constitutive feature of the human B cell differentiation program. Because this transcriptional activity is limited primarily to the B cell stage and occurs prior to the actual isotype switch, the induction of C gamma and C alpha transcription may represent preparation of the downstream IgH chromatin for potential switch recombination.
  • Authors

    Published In


  • B-Lymphocytes, Cell Differentiation, Cell Line, Transformed, Genes, Immunoglobulin, Humans, Immunoglobulin Constant Regions, Immunoglobulin Switch Region, Immunoglobulin alpha-Chains, Immunoglobulin gamma-Chains, Leukemia, Lymphocytic, Chronic, B-Cell, Lymphoma, B-Cell, Recombination, Genetic, Transcription, Genetic
  • Pubmed Id

  • 6956888
  • Author List

  • Kerr WG; Burrows PD
  • Start Page

  • 1059
  • End Page

  • 1065
  • Volume

  • 3
  • Issue

  • 11