Antibodies a pattern of hybridization which showed
Antibodies are proteinsproduced by plasma cells to neutralize pathogens based on the specificmolecular patterns of antigens (1). The observation of antibody diversity ledto the controversy of whether antibodies were produced through DNArearrangement during B-cell development (Somatic Differentiation Theory) or ifeach immunoglobulin chain sequence was encoded by a gene (Germ-line Theory) (1).
Tonegawa’s (3) Nobel prize winning research provided experimental evidence thatantibody diversity was better explained by the somatic rearrangement ofimmunoglobulin genes (3). Tonegawa’s (2) lab performed RNA?DNAhybridization experiments between mouse liver DNA and ?-chain mRNAs isolatedfrom myeloma tumors (2). It was observed that the number of V-(variable) geneswere between 1 and 200, which was a small number to account for the variabilityin antibody V-regions (2). This conclusion was further reinforced by obtaininga similar result for mouse ?-chains hence, proving that the Germline Theory wasinadequate (2,4).
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An experiment with mouse embryos and myeloma tumorsdetected a pattern of hybridization which showed that the V and C genes weresome distance away in the embryo genome but were entirely contained in thetumor genome (3). This led to the conclusion that the V and C genes areseparated in the embryo cells and are joined together in the plasma cellsduring differentiation of lymphocytes to form a contiguous polynucleotide (3). SusumuTonegawa (5) was the first to conduct an immunology experiment involving theuse of restriction enzymes (BamHIRestriction Endonuclease) and gel electrophoresis to determine the position ofgenes in germline DNA and their repositioning during development (5). Hisresearch led the fields of immunology and medicine to discover generearrangement in mammalian DNA (5). This research can further be used toincrease the diversity of antibodies by genetically engineering plasma cells toproduce specific combinations of effective antibodies.