Rabbits of the Basilea strain do not produce normal K1b9 light chains but continue to produce immunoglobulins with light chains of the rare K2 isotype and of lambda type. To understand the molecular basis for this unusual expression of kappa light chains in Basilea rabbits, we undertook an analysis of their kappa genes. We isolated and sequenced the mutant kappa 1b9 gene and found a substitution of A for G in the highly conserved AG dinucleotide of the 3' acceptor splice site. Although we cannot rule out additional alterations of portions of the gene we did not sequence, this spontaneous change of the G found in the normal gene provides a likely molecular explanation for the loss of K1 light chain expression in Basilea rabbits.

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