## Abstract

Critical to our understanding of the immune system diversity is the determination of the number of germ line V genes. The total number of V genes is given by the product: number of subgroups x number of germ line genes per subgroup. Studies of K chains and of embryonic DNA indicate 5-10 V genes per subgroup. Statistical analysis of the limited sequence data of mouse K chains suggest about 50 V_{K} subgroups. We report here a general approach for direct estimation of the number of V_{L} and V_{H} subgroups expressed in normal spleen, and present data for V_{K}. The K mRNA of the spleen is a heterogeneous population where different V_{k} are linked to the same C_{K}, i.e. C_{K} equals total V_{K}. The ratio C_{K}/distinct VK approximates the number of subgroups since V_{K} of the same subgroup cross hybridize while V_{K} of different subgroups do not. This ratio was determined by molecular hybridization of cloned C_{K} and V_{K} DNA probes with spleen mRNA. The results indicate the expression of 280 V_{K} subgroups in mouse spleen. Assuming an average of 7 genes per subgroup, we estimate about 2000 V_{K} germ line genes.

Original language | English (US) |
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Pages (from-to) | 3809-3820 |

Number of pages | 12 |

Journal | Nucleic acids research |

Volume | 9 |

Issue number | 15 |

DOIs | |

State | Published - Aug 11 1981 |

Externally published | Yes |

## ASJC Scopus subject areas

- Genetics