It has traditionally been believed that the production of immunoglobulin (Ig) molecules is restricted to B lineage cells. However, immunoglobulin genes and proteins have been recently found in a variety of types of cancer cells, as well as some proliferating epithelial cells and neurons. The immunoglobulin molecules expressed by these cells consist predominantly of IgG, IgM, and IgA, and the light chains expressed are mainly kappa chains. Recombination activating genes 1 and 2, which are required for V(D)J recombination, are also expressed in these cells. Knowledge about the function of these non-lymphoid cell-derived immunoglobulins is limited. Preliminary data suggests that Ig secreted by epithelial cancer cells has some unidentified capacity to promote the growth and survival of tumor cells. As immunoglobulins are known to have a wide spectrum of important functions, the discovery of non-lymphoid cells and cancers that produce immunoglobulin calls for in-depth investigation of the functional and pathological significance of this previously unrecognized phenomenon
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