Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 16622008
J. Immunol. 2006 May;176(9):5409-17
IgH genes are assembled during early B cell development by a series of regulated DNA recombination reactions in which DH and JH segments are first joined followed by V(H) to DJH rearrangement. Recent studies have highlighted the role of chromatin structure in the control of V(D)J recombination. In this study, we show that, in murine pro-B cell precursors, the JH segments are located within a 6-kb DNase I-sensitive chromatin domain containing acetylated histones H3 and H4, which is delimited 5′ by the DQ52 promoter element and 3′ by the intronic enhancer. Within this domain, the JH segments are covered by phased nucleosomes. High-resolution mapping of nucleosomes reveals that, in pro-B cells, unlike recombination refractory nonlymphoid cells, the recombination signal sequences flanking the four JH segments are located in regions of enhanced micrococcal nuclease and restriction enzyme accessibility, corresponding to either nucleosome-free regions or DNA rendered accessible within a nucleosome. These results support the idea that nucleosome remodeling provides an additional level of control in the regulation of Ig locus accessibility to recombination factors in B cell precursors.