Assembly of a 12/23 paired signal complex: a critical control point in V(D)J recombination

Kevin Hiom, Martin Gellert (Lead / Corresponding author)

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    210 Citations (Scopus)


    The 12/23 rule requires that V(D)J recombination only occurs between recombination signals with 12 and 23 base pair spacers. We show that the 12/23 rule is established prior to DNA cleavage, by the formation of a synaptic complex containing both 12-spacer and 23-spacer signals. The RAG1 and RAG2 proteins, as well as the DNA bending protein HMG1, are needed for efficient formation of this complex. We show further that the synaptic complex is the functional complex for coupled cleavage. After cleavage, all four broken DNA ends remain associated with the RAG proteins in a postcleavage synaptic complex, whose existence helps to explain the known role of RAG1 and RAG2 in the subsequent end-joining events that complete V(D)J recombination.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1011-1019
    Number of pages9
    JournalMolecular Cell
    Issue number7
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 1998


    • Base composition
    • DNA
    • DNA-binding proteins
    • Gene rearrangement
    • Genes, Immunoglobulin
    • High mobility group proteins
    • Homeodomain proteins
    • Immunoglobulin J-chains
    • Immunoglobulin variable Region
    • Mutation
    • Protein binding
    • Recombination, Genetic


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