Somatic hypermutation

Definition

Somatic hypermutation is a process that allows B cells to mutate the genes that they use to produce antibodies. This enables the B cells to produce antibodies that are better able to bind to bacteria, viruses and other infections.

Latest Research and Reviews

News and Comment

  • News and Views |

    Direct evaluation of the contribution of somatic hypermutation (SHM) to mucosal immunity has been hampered by the lack of models able to dissociate SHM from class-switch recombination, which are both dependent on the cytidine deaminase AID. A new mouse AID model now demonstrates the critical role of SHM in the control of gut bacteria.

    • Kang Chen
    •  & Andrea Cerutti
    Nature Immunology 12, 197–198
  • News and Views |

    How B cell tolerance is retained during somatic hypermutation in germinal centers is incompletely understood. Two studies now show that Foxp3+ regulatory T cells undergo functional specialization to limit the magnitude of the germinal center response, and they may contribute to our understanding of how germinal center–mediated autoimmunity is prevented (pages 975–982 and 983–988).

    • Daniel J Campbell
    •  & Meghan A Koch
    Nature Medicine 17, 929–930