Mismatch-mediated error prone repair at the immunoglobulin genes

Richard Chahwan, Winfried Edelmann, Matthew D. Scharff, Sergio Roa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

The generation of effective antibodies depends upon somatic hypermutation (SHM) and class-switch recombination (CSR) of antibody genes by activation induced cytidine deaminase (AID) and the subsequent recruitment of error prone base excision and mismatch repair. While AID initiates and is required for SHM, more than half of the base changes that accumulate in V regions are not due to the direct deamination of dC to dU by AID, but rather arise through the recruitment of the mismatch repair complex (MMR) to the U:G mismatch created by AID and the subsequent perversion of mismatch repair from a high fidelity process to one that is very error prone. In addition, the generation of double-strand breaks (DSBs) is essential during CSR, and the resolution of AID-generated mismatches by MMR to promote such DSBs is critical for the efficiency of the process. While a great deal has been learned about how AID and MMR cause hypermutations and DSBs, it is still unclear how the error prone aspect of these processes is largely restricted to antibody genes. The use of knockout models and mice expressing mismatch repair proteins with separation-of-function point mutations have been decisive in gaining a better understanding of the roles of each of the major MMR proteins and providing further insight into how mutation and repair are coordinated. Here, we review the cascade of MMR factors and repair signals that are diverted from their canonical error free role and hijacked by B cells to promote genetic diversification of the Ig locus. This error prone process involves AID as the inducer of enzymatically-mediated DNA mismatches, and a plethora of downstream MMR factors acting as sensors, adaptors and effectors of a complex and tightly regulated process from much of which is not yet well understood.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)529-536
Number of pages8
JournalBiomedicine and Pharmacotherapy
Volume65
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2011

Keywords

  • AID
  • Antibody diversity
  • Class switch recombination
  • DSB
  • Epigenetic
  • Mismatch repair
  • Somatic hypermutation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology

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