Next Article in Journal
Role of Polycomb Group Protein Cbx2/M33 in Meiosis Onset and Maintenance of Chromosome Stability in the Mammalian Germline
Next Article in Special Issue
Gene Duplication and Ectopic Gene Conversion in Drosophila
Previous Article in Journal
An Exceptional Gene: Evolution of the TSPY Gene Family in Humans and Other Great Apes
Previous Article in Special Issue
Gene Conversion in Angiosperm Genomes with an Emphasis on Genes Duplicated by Polyploidization
Genes 2011, 2(1), 48-58; doi:10.3390/genes2010048

Genetic Diversification by Somatic Gene Conversion

Department of Life Sciences, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, The University of Tokyo, Komaba 3-8-1, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 153-8902, Japan
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 21 October 2010 / Revised: 14 December 2010 / Accepted: 15 December 2010 / Published: 10 January 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gene Conversion in Duplicated Genes)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [355 KB, uploaded 10 January 2011]   |   Browse Figures


Gene conversion is a type of homologous recombination that leads to transfer of genetic information among homologous DNA sequences. It can be categorized into two classes: homogenizing and diversifying gene conversions. The former class results in neutralization and homogenization of any sequence variation among repetitive DNA sequences, and thus is important for concerted evolution. On the other hand, the latter functions to increase genetic diversity at the recombination-recipient loci. Thus, these two types of gene conversion play opposite roles in genome dynamics. Diversifying gene conversion is observed in the immunoglobulin (Ig) loci of chicken, rabbit, and other animals, and directs the diversification of Ig variable segments and acquisition of functional Ig repertoires. This type of gene conversion is initiated by the biased occurrence of recombination initiation events (e.g., DNA single- or double-strand breaks) on the recipient DNA site followed by unidirectional homologous recombination from multiple template sequences. Transcription and DNA accessibility is also important in the regulation of biased recombination initiation. In this review, we will discuss the biological significance and possible mechanisms of diversifying gene conversion in somatic cells of eukaryotes.
Keywords: immunoglobulin locus; gene conversion; DNA break; recombination immunoglobulin locus; gene conversion; DNA break; recombination
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Share & Cite This Article

Further Mendeley | CiteULike
Export to BibTeX |
MDPI and ACS Style

Kurosawa, K.; Ohta, K. Genetic Diversification by Somatic Gene Conversion. Genes 2011, 2, 48-58.

View more citation formats

Related Articles

Article Metrics

For more information on the journal, click here


Cited By

[Return to top]
Genes EISSN 2073-4425 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert