Immunization of transgenic mice carrying an immunoglobulin mu heavy chain resulted in a response dominated by expression of the transgene variable region. Unexpectedly, in a large proportion of the antibody produced by immunized mice, the transgene variable region was associated with IgG rather than IgM. This demonstrates that the transgene can undergo an isotype switch. Four transgenic founder lines all exhibited transgene isotype switching despite the likelihood of random chromosomal integration of the transgene. In addition one of the lines was analyzed by breeding studies and the transgene was found to be genetically unlinked to the immunoglobulin heavy chain (Igh) locus. These results indicate that a precise chromosomal location is not required for isotype switching and suggest the possibility that the isotype switching process can occur interchromosomally
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