Publication Date


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation


Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Molecular Genetics and Microbiology


Cytidine Deaminase; Immunoglobulin Class Switching; DNA Breaks, Double-Stranded; Amino Acids; Deamination; Mutation; Dissertations, UMMS


Activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID) is a key protein required for both class switch recombination (CSR) and somatic hypermutation (SHM) of antibody genes. AID is induced in B cells during an immune response. Lack of AID or mutant form of AID causes immunodeficiency; e.g., various mutations in the C terminus of AID causes hyper IgM (HIGM2) syndrome in humans. The C terminal 10 amino acids of AID are required for CSR but not for SHM. During both CSR and SHM, AID deaminates dCs within Ig genes, converting them to dUs, which are then either replicated over, creating mutations, or excised by uracil DNA glycosylase (UNG), leading to DNA breaks in Ig switch regions. Also, the mismatch repair (MMR) heterodimer Msh2-Msh6 recognizes U:G mismatches resulting from AID activity and initiates MMR, which leads to increased switch region double strand breaks (DSBs). DSBs are essential intermediates of CSR; lack of UNG or MMR results in a reduction of DSBs and CSR. The DSBs created in the Sμ and one of the downstream S-regions during CSR are recombined by non-homologous end joining (NHEJ) to complete CSR. Available data suggest that AID is required not only for the deamination step of CSR, but also for one or more of the steps of CSR that are downstream of deamination step. This study investigates the role of C terminus of AID in CSR steps downstream of deamination.

Using retroviral transduction into mouse splenic B cells, I show that AID binds cooperatively with UNG and Msh2-Msh6 to the Ig Sμ region, and this depends on the AID C terminus. I also show that the function of MMR during CSR depends on the AID C terminus. Surprisingly, the C terminus of AID is not required for Sμ or Sγ3 DSBs, suggesting its role in CSR occurs during repair and/or recombination of DSBs.

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