From lymphocytes to sharks: V(D)J recombinase moves to the germline
Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Department of Immunology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas 77030, USA
Genome Biology 2000, 1:reviews1014-reviews1014.4 doi:10.1186/gb-2000-1-2-reviews1014Published: 2 August 2000
The antigen-receptor genes of vertebrates are rearranged by a specialized somatic recombination mechanism in developing lymphocytes - and, unexpectedly, also in the germline of cartilaginous fishes. The recombination system that carries out these DNA rearrangements may thus be a significant evolutionary force, perhaps not limited to rearrangements at antigen-receptor loci.