The role of somatic hypermutation in the generation of antibody diversity

Deborah L. French, Reuven Laskov, Matthew D. Scharff

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

236 Scopus citations

Abstract

The immune system is capable of establishing an enormous repertoire of antibodies before its first contact with antigen. Most antibodies that express germ-line sequences are of relatively low affinity. Once antigen enters the system, it stimulates a somatic mutational mechanism that generates antibodies of higher affinity and selects for the expression of those antibodies to produce a more effective immune response. The details of the mechanism and regulaton of somatic hypermutation remain to be elucidated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1152-1157
Number of pages6
JournalScience
Volume244
Issue number4909
DOIs
StatePublished - 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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