Emerging links between hypermutation of antibody genes and DNA polymerases

Patricia J. Gearhart, Richard D. Wood

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Substantial antibody variability is created when nucleotide substitutions are introduced into immunoglobulin variable genes by a controlled process of hypermutation. Evidence points to a mechanism involving DNA repair events at sites of targeted breaks. In vertebrate cells, there are many recently identified DNA polymerases that inaccurately copy templates. Some of these are candidates for enzymes that introduce base changes during hypermutation. Recent research has focused on possible roles for DNA polymerases ζ (POLZ), η (POLH), ι (POLI), and μ (POLM) in the process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)187-192
Number of pages6
JournalNature Reviews Immunology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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