Re: [asa] PSCF article on immune system

From: Nucacids <nucacids@wowway.com>
Date: Fri Dec 04 2009 - 19:48:58 EST

Antibody production is a wonderful example of something I just mentioned:
random mutation + selection under control. The first-stage recombination
events are programmed and regulated. The second wave of targeted genetic
alterations is under the control of AID (activation-induced cytidine
deaminase). What is neat about AID is that it shuttles in and out of the
nucleus and is homologous to a well-studied cytidine deaminase that is
involved in RNA editing. In fact, there is growing evidence to indicate
that RNA editing plays a key role in this second wave. What you have with
antibody production is facilitated evolution, all made possible by the fact
that proteins are such amazing "design material."

What may be even more exciting are the discoveries that many of the genes
involved in antibody production are also expressed in CNS neurons, many
associated with learning and memory. Wouldn't it be cool if "antibody
memory" and brain memories exist because of a similar genomic mechanism?

Mike

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Received on Fri Dec 4 19:49:15 2009

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