Duplication of a germline promoter downstream of the IgH 3′ regulatory region impairs class switch recombination

Joana M. Santos, Fatima Zohra Braikia, Chloé Oudinet, Dania Haddad, Caroline Conte, Audrey Dauba, Ahmed Amine Khamlichi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


During an adaptive immune response, B cells can change their surface immunoglobulins from IgM to IgG, IgE or IgA through a process called class switch recombination (CSR). Switching is preceded by inducible non-coding germline transcription (GLT) of the selected constant gene(s), which is largely controlled by a super-enhancer called the 3′ regulatory region (3′RR). Despite intense efforts, the precise mechanisms that regulate GLT are still elusive. In order to gain additional insights into these mechanisms, we analyzed GLT and CSR in mutant B cells carrying a duplication of the promoter of the α constant gene (Iα) downstream of 3′RR. Duplication of the Iα promoter affected differently GLT and CSR. While for most isotypes a drop in GLT was accompanied by a decrease in CSR, that was not the case for switching to IgA, which diminished despite unchanged GLT. Unexpectedly, there was no obvious effect on GLT and CSR to IgG3. Remarkably, specific stimuli that normally induce switching to IgG2b had contrasting effects in mutant B cells; Iγ2b was now preferentially responsive to the stimulus that induced Iα promoter. We propose that one mechanism underlying the induced 3′RR-mediated activation of GL promoters involves, at least in part, specific transcription factories.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9164
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2018


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