Department of Medicine, Immunology Institute, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, 1425 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10029, USA.
The pathway of V(D)J recombination was discovered almost three decades ago. Yet it continues to baffle scientists because of its inherent complexity and the multiple layers of regulation that are required to efficiently generate a diverse repertoire of T and B cells. The non-homologous end-joining (NHEJ) DNA repair pathway is an integral part of the V(D)J reaction, and its numerous players perform critical functions in generating this vast diversity, while ensuring genomic stability. In this review, we summarize the efforts of a number of laboratories including ours in providing the mechanisms of V(D)J regulation with a focus on the NHEJ pathway. This involves discovering new players, unraveling unknown roles for known components, and understanding how deregulation of these pathways contributes to generation of primary immunodeficiencies. A long-standing interest of our laboratory has been to elucidate various mechanisms that control RAG activity. Our recent work has focused on understanding the multiple protein-protein interactions and protein-DNA interactions during V(D)J recombination, which allow efficient and regulated generation of the antigen receptors. Exploring how deregulation of this process contributes to immunodeficiencies also continues to be an important area of research for our group.
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