Ig gene somatic hypermutation in mice defective for DNA polymerase δ proofreading

Angelika Longacre, Tianhe Sun, Robert E. Goldsby, Bradley D. Preston, Ursula Storb

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


This study is an investigation of the possible role of DNA polymerase (pol) δ with an inactivated exonuclease (exo) in somatic hypermutation (SHM). Analysis of endogenous heavy chain transcripts revealed no difference in mutation frequency and pattern between exo-/-, exo+/- and exo+/+ mice. The lack of an effect of the pol δ exo mutation on SHM could be due to: (i) normally pol δ is used in SHM, but the exo is prevented from proofreading, (ii) normally pol δ is used, but the decrease in fidelity of the exo- pol does not increase hypermutation frequency enough to be detected, and (iii) pol δ is not used in SHM. Based on the finding in the exo-/- mice and the current understanding of the process of SHM, it is concluded that pol δ is not normally involved in creating the mutations. The majority of the mutated sequences obtained in this study, including many from the exo-/- mice, were from genes which had switched to a γ heavy chain class. Thus, the pol δ proofreading activity is not required for class switch recombination (CSR). Genealogical trees observed with multiple mutated sequences of various Ig classes show that CSR and SHM occur intermingled during expansion of a cell clone, raising the possibility that they may occur at the same time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)477-481
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Immunology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Class switch recombination
  • Polymerase δ exonuclease
  • Somatic hypermutation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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