A stepwise epigenetic process controls immunoglobulin allelic exclusion

Yehudit Bergman, Howard Cedar*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


During the differentiation of T and B cells, immune-receptor loci in the genome must be made sterically accessible so that they can undergo rearrangement. Here, we discuss how this is carried out by the stepwise removal of epigenetic repression mechanisms-such as later-replication timing, heterochromatization, histone hypo-acetylation and DNA methylation - in a manner that initially favours one allele in each cell. We propose that this mechanism of allelic exclusion might also be the basis for the generation of gene diversity in other systems.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)753-761
Number of pages9
JournalNature Reviews Immunology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2004

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Y.B. and H.C. are supported by research grants from the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, and the National Institutes of Health, United States. Y.B. is also supported by the Fifth European Community Framework Programme on Quality of Life and Management of Living Resources. H.C. is also supported by the Israel Cancer Research Fund.


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