Our B cells can create trillions of different antibodies. Much of this diversity is due to proteins called RAGs, which attach to chromosomes and rearrange genes. However, because this process involves cutting and pasting DNA, sometimes pieces of DNA can end up in the wrong place. These mistakes―known as translocations―can contribute to the development of leukemia and lymphoma. Dr. Lee is looking at what signals cause RAGs to rearrange genes and where they usually occur to help suggest treatments that could counter this problem. Specifically, he’s modifying the distances and locations of RAG targets, to determine the factors that propel RAGs and stimulate them to rearrange DNA. This information would greatly expand our knowledge of RAG activity, and may suggest approaches to minimize or prevent RAG-induced damage.
Projects and Grants
Elucidating the mechanism and the impacts of RAG tracking
Boston Children’s Hospital | Childhood Cancer, Lymphoma | 2016 | Frederick W. Alt, Ph.D.
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