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Monoclonal antibodies and the mechanisms of hypermutation 

Monoclonal antibodies and the mechanisms of hypermutation
Monoclonal antibodies and the mechanisms of hypermutation

Anthony Rees

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date: 19 January 2022

The difficulties of analysing antibodies when faced with a large number of different antibody molecules in a polyclonal population hampered detailed characterization for decades. In the 1970s a giant step forward was taken with the development of rodent monoclonal antibodies. This single discovery catapulted forward the understanding of how the observed antibody diversity was generated from a relatively small gene pool that experiences complex rearrangements and highly targeted mutation. These studies would explain the gene rearrangement and assembly processes but it would take another 20 years before the full molecular picture would emerge and even today, pieces of the puzzle remain to be fully explained.

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