Immunoglobulin V regions and the B cell

A. Keith Stewart, Robert S. Schwartz

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

90 Scopus citations


There is now substantial evidence that a small group of V genes predominates in the Ig repertoire of preimmune B cells. This phenomenon of V gene restriction may reflect preferential accessibility of these genes to recombinase, homology-directed V gene rearrangement, promoters and enhancers of V gene transcription, or positive and negative selection mediated by the anti-self binding properties of the B cells surface Ig. These mechanisms may operate alone or in combination to influence V gene rearrangement and populations of immature B cells. Although constraints on the pool of rearranged V genes may seem disadvantageous to the immune system, the mechanisms that generate the CDR3s of heavy and light chains ensure extensive diversity in the pre-B-cell population. In mature B cells, somatic mutation of V genes adds further diversity. CDR3 sequences and somatic mutations not only provide potentially useful clonal markers but also help to identify the normal counterparts of malignant B cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1717-1730
Number of pages14
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 1 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Immunology
  • Hematology
  • Cell Biology


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