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Nucleotide sequences of the human alpha 1 and two allelic alpha 2 immunoglobulin heavy chain constant region genes are presented. The genes contain three exons, each encoding a single constant region protein domain. The protein hinge region is encoded at the 5' end of the second exon, and the rapid evolutionary changes in length of the hinge correspond to duplications or deletions within the hinge-coding region, probably facilitated by repeats in the DNA sequence. Alignment of the alpha 1 and alpha 2 gene sequences reveals an unusual coupled deletion-duplication in the 5'-flanking region, which can be explained in terms of a slipped-strand mispairing model. Comparison of nucleotide sequences of the alpha 1 gene and two alleles of the alpha 2 gene indicates a localized transfer of genetic information from the 3' end of the alpha 1 gene to one of the alpha 2 alleles, probably by a gene conversion. At one end of the region within which conversion apparently occurred, there is a 40 bp sequence of the type that can form Z-DNA.

Type

Journal article

Journal

Cell

Publication Date

03/1984

Volume

36

Pages

681 - 688

Keywords

Base Sequence, Biological Evolution, Chromosome Deletion, Codon, Gene Conversion, Genes, Humans, Immunoglobulin Allotypes, Immunoglobulin Heavy Chains, Immunoglobulin alpha-Chains