STRUCTURE AND EXPRESSION OF MOUSE GERMLINE IMMUNOGLOBULIN-GAMMA-3 HEAVY-CHAIN TRANSCRIPTS INDUCED BY THE MITOGEN LIPOPOLYSACCHARIDE
Gerondakis, S; GAFF, C; Goodman, DJ; Grumont, RJ
Germline immunoglobulin heavy chain gene transcription is though to direct isotype switching by modulating the accessibility of specific switch regions to a recombinase. In this study, cloned cDNA copies of mouse germline Igh-8 RNAs have been used to characterize the Igh-8 transcription unit. The 5' end of these transcripts are derived from an exon denoted Ig3, located 1 kilobase 5' of the Igh-8 switch region. Sequence analysis of cDNA and genomic clones reveals that these RNAs are noncoding. In splenic B cell cultures treated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS), germline Igh-8 transcript levels are upregulated after 8 h due to increased transcription. This induction is consistent with the identification of a putative binding site for the LPS inducible transcription factor NF-kappa-B approximately 150 nucleotides upstream of the sites of transcript initiation. Furthermore, nucleotide sequence comparisons reveal that the region encompassing the site of germline Igh-8 transcription initiation is highly homologous to part of the Ig2b exon, and is also conserved upstream of the Igh-1 switch region. The implications of these findings for the control of germline Igh-8 transcription is discussed.