As described earlier, after the initial single-strand DNA cleavage at the junction of a variable-region gene segment and attached signal sequence, the nucleotides at the end of the coding sequence turn back to form a hairpin structure (see Figure 5-7). This hairpin is later cleaved by an endonuclease. This second cleavage sometimes occurs at a position that leaves a short single strand at the end of the coding sequence. The subsequent addition of complementary nucleotides to this strand (P-addition) by repair enzymes generates a palin-dromic sequence in the coding joint, and so these nucleotides are called P-nucleotides (Figure 5-13a). Variation in the position at which the hairpin is cut thus leads to variation in the sequence of the coding joint.
Was this article helpful?