Mismatch repair of AID-generated dU:G mispairs is critical for class switch recombination (CSR) and somatic hypermutation (SHM) in B cells. The generation of a previously unavailable Msh2-/-Msh6-/- mouse has for the first time allowed us to examine the impact of the complete loss of MutSα on lymphomagenesis, CSR and SHM. The onset of T cell lymphomas and the survival of Msh2-/-Msh6-/- and Msh2-/-Msh6-/-Msh3-/- mice are indistinguishable from Msh2-/- mice, suggesting that MSH2 plays the critical role in protecting T cells from malignant transformation, presumably because it is essential for the formation of stable MutSα heterodimers that maintain genomic stability. The similar defects on switching in Msh2-/-, Msh2-/-Msh6-/- and Msh2-/-Msh6-/-Msh3-/- mice confirm that MutSα but not MutSβ plays an important role in CSR. Analysis of SHM in Msh2-/-Msh6-/- mice not only confirmed the error-prone role of MutSα in the generation of strand biased mutations at A:T bases, but also revealed an error-free role of MutSα when repairing some of the dU:G mispairs generated by AID on both DNA strands. We propose a model for the role of MutSα at the immunoglobulin locus where the local balance of error-free and error-prone repair has an impact in the spectrum of mutations introduced during Phase 2 of SHM.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)