COMPARATIVE GENOMIC ANALYSIS OF HUMAN NAIVE AND MEMORY B CELL IMMUNOGLOBULIN SWITCH REGIONS
Theron Palmer Jr, Christopher Vollmers.
University of California, Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA.
Isotype class switching must occur in order to adapt to the various biological elements of pathogens. The constant regions of B cells’ immunoglobulin heavy chain loci contain several repetitive elements, called switch regions, which are located upstream from the isotype exons. These switch regions are used as recombination sites that save isotype genetic information from being lost due to the DNA cleavage induced by the RAG protein complex during isotype-class switching. Improper recombination of B-cell switch regions could result in the loss of isotype information which will prevent further isotype class switching necessary for the body to adapt to the biological components of pathogens. The recombination of these repeating switch regions that occurs during isotype class switching has not yet been analyzed genetically. In order to better understand the nature of isotype class switching in relation to switch regions, we created a novel assay that amplified the naïve B-cell constant region and the alpha, gamma, and epsilon memory B-cell isotype-switched constant regions. Next, we will sequence the constant region amplicons using the Oxford nanopore MinIon sequencer in collaboration with the lab of Dr. Akeson. By computational analysis, we can then infer the switch regions of both naïve and memory (before and after isotype class switching) B cells looking for switch region recombination patterns during isotype class switching.