Why Genomic Rearrangements Are Important for Lymphocyte Function

1505 WordsDec 4, 20127 Pages
Why genomic rearrangements are important for lymphocyte function. Introduction Through a series of steps called the immune response, the body’s immune system attacks invading disease-causing organisms and substances. The cells involved in this immune response are called leukocytes. Leukocytes are produced and stored in the thymus, spleen, and bone marrow (lymphoid organs). There is also lymphoid tissue throughout the body that houses leukocytes (lymph nodes). The leukocytes circulate through the body between the organs and nodes via lymphatic vessels and blood vessels. Lymphocytes are a type of leukocyte. The two kinds of lymphocytes are B lymphocytes and T lymphocytes. Lymphocytes either mature in the bone marrow and become B cells,…show more content…
The main problem with chromosome instability produced by these breaks is the susceptibility to translocations and thus oncogene activation. Translocations can cause strong transcriptional factors to be moved close to a target oncogene which will increase its expression. Or, they can result in the creation of a fusion gene that encodes a novel oncogenic protein. Oncogenes can also be activated by the amplication of proto-oncogenes. Gene amplification is an increase in the cellular copy number of a gene or genomic region relative to the rest of the genome. An amplication in a proto-oncogene would cause an increase in cell division, a decrease in cell differentiation and an inhibition of cell death – the phenotype of a cancer cell. In addition to translocations and gene amplifications, deletions can occur and also result in oncogene activation. This can be by the removal of negative regulatory elements or the elimination of regulatory protein domains. However it is more common for a deletion to cause the loss of a tumor suppressor and therefore lead to a cancerous cell i.e. one which rapidly divides. Conclusion Lymphocytes are vital to the human body to protect us against disease and initiate an immune response. Each person possesses billions of lymphocytes which collectively provide an individual with the ability to respond to a huge variety of antigens. The wide

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