R S Becker

Loyola University Chicago, Chicago, IL, United States

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Publications (11)96.91 Total impact

  • K L Knight, R S Becker, L A DiPietro
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    ABSTRACT: The presence of inherited VH region allotypic specificities, a1, a2 or a3, on nearly all rabbit immunoglobulins has presented a paradox. We know the germline contains hundreds of VH genes, and if we assume that most of these are used in the generation of antibody diversity, then we must ask how have the a allotype-encoding regions been maintained over time? On the other hand, if we assume that only one (or a small number) of these VH gene(s) is (are) used in VDJ gene rearrangements, then, how is antibody diversity generated? To address these questions, we have cloned and determined the nucleotide sequence of the 3'-most germline VH genes from the a1, a2 and a3 chromosomes and shown in each case that the 3'-most H gene, VH1-a1, VH1-a2, or VH1-a3, encodes an a1, a2 or a3 VH region, respectively. Analysis of rearranged VDJ genes from leukemic B cells showed that VH1 was utilized in these rearrangements. Based on these data, we propose that the allelic inheritance of the VH allotypes is explained by the preferential usage of the VH1 gene in VDJ rearrangements. Support for this hypothesis was obtained from analysis of the mutant rabbit Alicia in which most serum Ig molecules do not have VHa allotypic specificities, but instead have so-called VHa-negative Ig molecules. In this rabbit, VH1 is not expressed as it has been deleted. Analysis of cDNA clones from spleen of Alicia rabbits suggests that the expressed VHa-negative molecules also are encoded by a single germline VH gene. Thus, we suggest that nearly all rabbit VH regions are encoded by one to two germline VH genes and that antibody diversity is generated primarily by somatic hypermutation and gene conversion.
    Advances in experimental medicine and biology 02/1991; 292:235-44. · 1.83 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Previously, recombinations involving genes of the rabbit immunoglobulin heavy chain locus have been documented serologically. These data indicated that the sites at which the causative recombination events occurred could have been anywhere from within the VH gene cluster up to, or 3' of, C mu. Since these sites could not be localized further by serological methods, we attempted to do this using techniques of molecular biology. DNAs from homozygous recombinant rabbits and from the appropriate non-recombinant parental haplotypes were characterized using Southern blots hybridized with a panel of probes derived from cloned regions of the rabbit immunoglobulin heavy chain gene complex. In all three recombinants, the site was downstream of the entire VH cluster and upstream of the JH cluster within an approximately 50 kilobase (kb) region containing expanses of repetitive-sequence DNA as well as DH genes. DH-specific probes further showed that in two of the recombinants, the recombination appears to have occurred within or 5' of DH1 and 5' of DH2 genes; in the third it occurred 3' of the DH2 genes but at least approximately 5 kb 5' of the JH region.
    Immunogenetics 02/1991; 34(2):101-9. · 2.89 Impact Factor
  • R S Becker, K L Knight
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    ABSTRACT: Rabbits preferentially utilize only one of their multiple functional germline immunoglobulin VH genes. This preferential usage of one gene, VH1, raises the question of how rabbits generate antibody diversity. VDJ diversification was analyzed by cloning and sequencing VH1 gene rearrangements. Comparison of these sequences with that of germline VH1 identified clusters of nucleotide changes, including codon insertions and deletions. To investigate whether gene conversion was involved in this somatic diversification, we searched a data base of rabbit germline VH gene sequences for donor VH genes; potential donors were identified for five diversified regions. We conclude that somatic gene conversion has a major role in generating antibody diversity in rabbits. These studies provide clear evidence for somatic gene conversion of mammalian VDJ genes.
    Cell 12/1990; 63(5):987-97. · 31.96 Impact Factor
  • K L Knight, R S Becker
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    ABSTRACT: Rabbits are unique in that their immunoglobulin VH regions bear allotypic markers encoded by allelic genes. The presence of these markers on most serum immunoglobulins is difficult to explain, as the germline contains several hundred VH genes. We cloned VH genes from normal rabbits of the VHa allotypes a1, a2, and a3 and from a mutant a2 rabbit, Alicia, which expresses almost no a2 allotype. The D-proximal VH gene VH1 of normal rabbits encoded prototype a1, a2, or a3 allotype VH regions in a1, a2, or a3 rabbits, respectively; VH1 was shown to be preferentially utilized in leukemic rabbit B cells. This VH1 gene was deleted from the germline of the Alicia rabbit. These data suggest that the allelic inheritance of a allotypes results from preferential utilization of VH1 in VDJ rearrangements. We suggest that antibody diversity in rabbit primarily results from somatic hypermutation and gene conversion.
    Cell 04/1990; 60(6):963-70. · 31.96 Impact Factor
  • M Suter, R S Becker, K L Knight
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    ABSTRACT: VDJ genes were cloned from leukemic B cells of an a1/a2 heterozygous Emu-cmyc transgenic rabbit. Restriction mapping and nucleotide sequence analysis indicated that one clone, 5C3, had a VHa1-encoding gene segment functionally rearranged to a JH gene segment from the a2 chromosome. This VDJ gene may be the result of a trans recombination between a VH gene on the a1 chromosome and a JH gene segment on the a2 chromosome or, it may be the result of a cis recombination if the a2 chromosome contains VHa1-encoding gene segments.
    The Journal of Immunology 04/1990; 144(5):1997-2000. · 5.52 Impact Factor
  • R S Becker, M Suter, K L Knight
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    ABSTRACT: Polyclonal B cell leukemias have been generated in 17- to 20-day old Emu-myc transgenic rabbits. To analyze the repertoire of VH genes utilized in early B cells, eight VDJ genes were cloned from these leukemic cells. The nucleotide sequences of these genes indicated that seven of the eight VDJ genes encoded prototype VHa1, VHa2 or VHa3 allotypes. The two VDJ genes encoding VHa1 molecules had VH segments with identical nucleotide sequences; similarly, the VH segments of the four VDJ genes encoding VHa2 molecules were identical, with the exception of a single base pair. These data suggest that a limited repertoire of VH genes were utilized in the generation of these VDJ genes. The DH segments of these genes were limited to two DH families, D1 and D2, indicating that a restricted repertoire of DH genes also had been utilized. Since these leukemic cells probably developed early in ontogeny, we suggest that this restricted utilization of VH and DH genes is representative of B cells from developmentally immature rabbits.
    European Journal of Immunology 03/1990; 20(2):397-402. · 4.97 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The immunoglobulin JHC mu intron was cloned from genomic DNA of a VHa3 rabbit and a 1257 bp sequence which contains conserved enhancer and splice sites was determined. From positions 315 to 1257, there is approximately 72 and 67% similarity to available sequences of man and mouse, respectively (counting gaps as single changes at single positions). In earlier studies of rabbit cDNAs encoding immunoglobulin heavy chains, we found a C mu-encoding cDNA clone (pB3) derived from splenic mRNA of a Trypanosome-hyperimmunized rabbit (VHa1) which lacked VH, DH or JH sequences and had an unknown sequence 5' of that encoding C mu. Comparison of this cDNA sequence with the present cloned genomic DNA sequence has now revealed that the start of cDNA pB3 corresponds to a position 80 base pairs 3' of the conserved octamer motif of the rabbit heavy chain enhancer. This mRNA was spliced to the acceptor site of C mu using a donor site which was 635 bp 3' of the enhancer octanucleotide. Our sequence of pB3 indicates that in rabbit as in mouse, a "nontron" (33 stop codons in three reading frames) can be formed utilizing a conserved splice site to produce a spliced transcript. The presence of evolutionarily conserved splice donor sites in the intron sequences of rabbit, mouse and man suggests a functional role during B cell ontogeny.
    Molecular Immunology 11/1989; 26(10):1007-10. · 2.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Overlapping cosmid clones of rabbit germ-line DNA containing VH, DH and JH gene segments were isolated. The map of this cluster of cosmid clones indicated that the rabbit VH and JH regions were separated by 63 kb. Hybridization of Southern blots of these cosmid clones with two different DH segment probes identified a total of six DH segments within the region between the VH and JH regions. The nucleotide sequences of the JH region and one of the DH segments have been determined. The DH segment has conserved heptamer and nonamer sequences separated by 12 and 11 bp at the 3' and 5' sides, respectively, of the coding region and hence, appears to be a functional gene. The nucleotide sequence of the JH region revealed four functional JH gene segments and one JH pseudogene. Inasmuch as the JH region had previously been linked by contiguous overlapping clones with C mu, C gamma, C epsilon, and one C alpha gene, this VH-DH-JH cluster and the clones containing the Ig H chain C region genes represent 190 kb of contiguous germ-line DNA of the Ig H chain locus.
    The Journal of Immunology 03/1989; 142(4):1351-5. · 5.52 Impact Factor
  • K L Knight, M Suter, R S Becker
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    ABSTRACT: A bovine recombinant phage library was constructed and screened with rabbit S mu and human C gamma probes. IgM, IgA, and IgE H chain constant region (CH) genes were isolated with the rabbit S mu probe and three IgG CH genes were isolated with the C gamma probe. The CH genes were individually cloned into an expression vector which contained a murine VDJ gene cloned from a hybridoma producing anti-dansyl hapten antibody. The resulting constructs were transfected into murine hybridoma cells producing L chain of the anti-dansyl antibody and stable transfectomas secreting chimeric bovine-murine IgA, IgE, or IgG subclass anti-dansyl antibodies were obtained. The chimeric antibodies, immunoprecipitated with Ag or with anti-bovine H chain antibodies, were analyzed by SDS-PAGE and were shown to contain H and L chains of expected size. Of the three chimeric antibodies derived from the C gamma genes, one reacted with anti-IgG1 antibody, another reacted with anti-IgG2 antibody and the third did not react with either anti-IgG1 or anti-IgG2. This third IgG appears to represent a "new" subclass of bovine IgG, IgG3. Southern blot analysis indicated that the bovine genome contains a fourth C gamma gene. These experiments demonstrate the usefulness of molecular genetic techniques for the isolation and characterization of Ig which are not readily purified from biologic fluids. These techniques will be useful for isolation and characterization of Ig genes from other outbred mammals.
    The Journal of Immunology 06/1988; 140(10):3654-9. · 5.52 Impact Factor
  • K L Knight, R S Becker
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    ABSTRACT: Bovine C mu, C gamma, C alpha and C epsilon genes were cloned in an EMBL4 recombinant phage library using rabbit immunoglobulin switch mu (Su) and human C gamma as probes. Restriction mapping and Southern blot analyses of these clones identified one clone which hybridized with rabbit C mu and JH probes. The HG and C mu regions were separated by 6 kb of DNA. One C alpha and one C epsilon gene were found on overlapping clones and were separated by approximately 15 kb of DNA. Southern blot analysis of germline DNA with a bovine C alpha associated probe (S alpha) indicated that the germline contains a single C alpha gene. Similar analyses with a bovine C epsilon probe indicated that the germline contains either one C epsilon gene with allelic restriction polymorphism or two C epsilon genes. Three C gamma genes were cloned and did not overlap with one another. Southern blot analyses of germline DNA with a bovine C gamma probe indicated that the germline contains a total of four C gamma genes. The genes cloned correspond to three of the four genes identified by Southern blot analysis. The orientation of each CH gene was assigned by hybridization with S mu or S gamma probes. The S gamma probe hybridized to DNA immediately adjacent to all three C genes; the S probe hybridized to DNA immediately adjacent to the C mu, C alpha and C epsilon genes. Unexpectedly, the S mu probe also hybridized with a segment of DNA approximately 7 kb downstream of the C mu gene. This may represent a switch region for C gamma.
    Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology 01/1988; 17(1-4):17-24. · 1.88 Impact Factor
  • R S Becker, C W Weaver, K L Knight
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    ABSTRACT: Cytoplasmic immunoglobulin of lamina propria plasma cells was analyzed by immunofluorescence on the flow cytometer. Lymphoid cells were made permeable to immunofluorescent reagents by treatment with Triton X-100. These cells were then reacted with FITC (green) anti-light chain and with phycoerythrin (red) anti-heavy chain antibodies. Flow cytometric analysis of these cells revealed that plasma cells expressing cytoplasmic immunoglobulin light and heavy chains were specifically stained by the immunofluorescent reagents. These plasma cells were also shown to have membrane Ig as detected by cell surface immunofluorescence. Light scatter analysis indicated that these plasma cells could be distinguished from lymphocytes by 90 degrees light scatter. These studies provide a method by which several parameters of gut plasma cells can be analyzed by flow cytometry.
    Journal of Immunological Methods 06/1986; 89(2):159-64. · 2.23 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

364 Citations
96.91 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 1990
    • Loyola University Chicago
      • Department of Microbiology and Immunology
      Chicago, IL, United States
  • 1986–1990
    • University of Illinois at Chicago
      • Department of Microbiology and Immunology (Chicago)
      Chicago, IL, United States
  • 1989
    • Loyola University
      New Orleans, Louisiana, United States