Diverse immunoglobulin light chain organizations in fish retain potential to revise B cell receptor specificities. Academic Article uri icon


  • We have characterized the genomic organization of the three zebrafish L chain isotypes and found they all differed from those reported in other teleost fishes. Two of the zebrafish L chain isotypes are encoded by two loci, each carrying multiple V gene segments. To understand the derivation of these L chain genes and their organizations, we performed phylogenetic analyses and show that IgL organization can diverge considerably among closely related species. Except in zebrafish, the teleost fish IgL each contain only two to four recombinogenic components (one to three V, one J) and exist in multiple copies. BCR heterogeneity can be generated, but this arrangement apparently provides neither combinatorial diversification nor an opportunity for the secondary rearrangements that, in mammals, take place during receptor editing, a process crucial to the promotion of tolerance in developing lymphocytes. Examination of the zebrafish IgL recombination possibilities gave insight into how the suppression of self-reactivity by receptor editing might be managed, including in miniloci. We suggest that, despite the diverse IgL organizations in early and higher vertebrates, two elements essential to generating the Ab repertoire are retained: the numerous genes/loci for ligand-binding diversification and the potential for correcting unwanted specificities that arise.

published proceedings

  • J Immunol

author list (cited authors)

  • Hsu, E., & Criscitiello, M. F.

citation count

  • 49

complete list of authors

  • Hsu, Ellen||Criscitiello, Michael F

publication date

  • August 2006