Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract The five humanIGHG genes consist of three constant domain exons plus one of or four hinge exon(s), the quadruplicated hinge region being characteristic of theIGHG3 gene. Besides this structural difference, theIGHG genes are polymorphic, as demonstrated by the restriction fragment length polymorphism and, at the protein level, by the Gm allotypic antigenic determinants. In this paper, we report the sequence of theG3m(b0, b1, c3, c5, u) IGHG3 allele, typical of the Black African populations and of populations with Negroid admixture, found in a homozygous Tunisian designated as LAT. We demonstrate that thisG3 allele contains only three hinge exons instead of four (the probable result of an unequal crossing over) and thatIGHG3 genes with triplicated hinge exons (and therefore encoding shorter γ 3 chains) are present in healthy individuals from different populations. Moreover, we show that the LAT G3m (b0, b1, c3, c5, u) coding sequence results from the conversion, in the CH3 exon, of theG3m (b0, b1, b3, b4, b5, u, v) allele, the most frequentIGHG3 gene in the Negroid populations, by the homologous region of aIGHG4 gene. The structural features of theLAT IGHG3 allele, which are the lack of one hinge exon and its conversion by theIGHG4 gene, demonstrate that both crossing-over and gene conversion events occur in the evolution of the humanIGHG genes.
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