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Analysis of the telomeric region of chromosome 14q has enabled us to complete a map of the immunoglobulin VH locus which accounts for almost all VH segments known to rearrange in B-lymphocytes. The human germline VH repertoire consists of approximately 50 functional VH segments--the exact number depending on the haplotype--spanning 1,100 kilobases upstream of the JH segments. A yeast artificial chromosome used to map these segments was isolated by its ability to provide telomere activity in yeast, suggesting that the VH locus may be located within a few kilobases of the 14q telomere. The limited structural diversity encoded by the functional VH segments demonstrates the importance of combinatorial diversity produced by VDJ joining and the association of heavy and light chains in producing the human antibody repertoire.

Original publication




Journal article


Nat Genet

Publication Date





162 - 168


Amino Acid Sequence, Antibody Diversity, Base Sequence, Chromosome Mapping, Chromosomes, Artificial, Yeast, Chromosomes, Human, Pair 14, Chromosomes, Human, Pair 8, DNA, Gene Rearrangement, B-Lymphocyte, Heavy Chain, Genes, Immunoglobulin, Haplotypes, Humans, Immunoglobulin Heavy Chains, Immunoglobulin Variable Region, Molecular Sequence Data, Sequence Homology, Amino Acid, Translocation, Genetic, Tumor Cells, Cultured