By Tasuku Honjo, Frederick W. Alt and Michael S. Neuberger (Eds.)

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Our old nomenclature is used by many groups today. However, now that the k locus has been sequenced, anybody starting new systematic work on the k genes or gene products also may employ one of the systematic nomenclatures and correlate it to the historic one. 3 Rearranged and Expressed Human Vk Genes How many germline Vk genes are actually rearranged, transcribed, and translated? , 1993). Not all potentially functional Vk genes were found to be rearranged and expressed, whereas the alleles of some genes with minor defects are rearranged and expressed.

1986). They are called orphons in analogy to the histone and ribosomal RNA genes located outside the respective loci. All Vk orphons contain introns and, therefore, certainly have been dispersed at the DNA level and not by mRNA retrotranscription. A group of VkI orphons, the so-called Z family, has closely similar sequences. To date, 24 Vk orphons have been cloned and sequenced. About a dozen further orphons, some of them belonging to the Z family, were detected but not further studied; they may represent new loci or may be alleles of known orphons.

A group of VkI orphons, the so-called Z family, has closely similar sequences. To date, 24 Vk orphons have been cloned and sequenced. About a dozen further orphons, some of them belonging to the Z family, were detected but not further studied; they may represent new loci or may be alleles of known orphons. Two Vk orphons have no defects in their sequences, but they are included in this group because of their location outside of the locus. The other orphons are pseudogenes, also according to their sequence characteristics.

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