Basavaraju Shankarappa bsh at MED.PITT.EDU
Thu Jul 21 09:07:14 EST 1994

In article<30ae89$v0d at bigblue.oit.unc.edu>njs at med.unc.edu(Neil Slater)writes
>>   I would appreciate any info (or references) on possible molecular basis
>>of somatic mutations within immunoglobulin genes. I have done a medline
>>search but have not had a lot of luck at finding anything solid.
>>                                               Thanks in advance,
>>                                               Neil Slater
>That's because you're trying to get information on one of the few "big 
>picture" problems left to be solved in molecular immunology. There just isn't
>much known about how it occurs. Why it occurs? Probably. When it occurs,
>yes. But not how it occurs. No real progress there, unfortunately. You may 
>find hypotheses (DNA pols with error-prone features built in, gene conversion,
>etc., but nothing for which there's good evidence). 
>                                                Stacy

	Is it possible that the "why" is because the cells want to?
Hey, it may not be as preposterous as it sounds!  Look in Science 15th July
for our netfriend Patricia Foster's nice article describing adaptive mutation
in e.coli under selection (265:407).  Her's and another article describe
the presence of selective mutations in response to selection for lactose 
use.  Can the somatic mutations in Ig be a similar response to selection for 
optimal binding with the epitope?
Raj Shankarappa
bsh at med.pitt.edu

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