A tale of DNA loops: how distant DNA segments come together to make different types of antibodies

To fight off the vast array of pathogens we encounter every day, our immune system has come up with genetic mechanisms to diversify pathogen-detecting antibodies. Antibodies can be grouped in various classes with different functions: for each class to be produced, the DNA segments that encode them must be rearranged through ‘Class Switch Recombination’. In a new study now published in the journal Molecular Cell, researchers in the lab of Rushad Pavri at the IMP use cutting-edge methods to investigate this process and revise a long-standing model.

A DNA double helix is in the foreground, two other DNA molecules in the background, forming loops. The DNA molecules are bright orange and cyan on a black background.
AI-generated impression of three intertwined DNA segments. The colourful blobs represent proteins of the molecular machineries necessary for DNA looping (generated with Midjourney)

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