The plasticity of the immune system relies on stochastic, i.e. random, decisions as well as on controlled events. V(D)J rearrangement of antigen receptors on B and T cells are mediated through the action of compound elements containing enhancer sequences. These elements function in a developmentally stage-specific and a cell-type-specific manner to attract machineries that demethylate DNA, remodel chromatin structure, and induce V(D)J recombination on one allele preferentially.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
I thank Raul Mostoslavsky for his help throughout the preparation of this review, and P. Engler and Y. Xu for providing information prior to publication. This research was supported by grants from the Israel Science Foundation, the German—Israeli Foundation for Scientific Research and Development (GIF), and Israel Cancer Association.
- B cells
- T cell receptor
- V(D)J rearrangement