USC researchers uncover mechanism of class- switching in antibodies
A team of scientists from the Keck School of Medicine of USC has, for the first time, described a new, stable DNA structure in both mouse and human cells-one which differs from the standard Watson-and-Crick double helix and plays a critical role in the production of antibodies, or immunoglobulins.
The research will be published online in the journal Nature Immunology this week, and will appear in print in the journals May issue.
"The way in which the five different immunoglobulin classes are created is a nearly perfect system," notes Michael Lieber, M.D., Ph.D., professor of pathology and biochemistry and the studys principal investigator. "And yet, the DNA mechanism for how a cell switches from producing one class to producing another has remained a mystery for almost 20 years."
Lori Oliwenstein | EurekAlert!
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