To understand the regulation of enzymes that carry out immunoglobulin heavy chain class switch recombination, we have assayed recombination of extrachromosomal substrates carrying switch region sequences in cell lines representing different stages of lymphoid cell development. Both pre-B and mature B cell lines supported switch substrate recombination, but B cell lines derived from later stages of cell development did not. Recombination did not occur in an erythroid or a macrophage line. Most recombination junctions in the substrates recovered from transfection of pre-B and B cells mapped to heterogeneous sites within the Sμ and Sγ regions, as do chromosomal switch junctions. Some recombination did occur in T cell lines, but most recombination junctions involved an upstream promoter and did not map preferentially to S regions. Culture of the pre-B cell lines PD31 and 70Z/3 with LPS increased recombination two-fold, to levels approaching those observed in LPS-cultured primary B cells. These results show thai the full complement of factors necessary for switch recombination is present only in cells representing a limited spectrum of B cell development and that LPS, which can activate resting splenic B cells to carry out chromosomal recombination, can also stimulate recombination activity in immortalized pre- B cell lines.
- B cell
- Extrachromosomal substrate