We describe here the cloning and complete sequence analysis of the rearranged kappa variable region gene from the V kappa-1A-producing myeloma (C.AL20-TEPC-105). A 5'-flanking region probe from the V kappa-1A gene has been used to study the V kappa-1 germ-line gene family in strains of mice differing at the Ig kappa-Ef2 locus. All Ef2a strains examined possess an identical pair of BamHI restriction fragments strongly hybridizing to the 5' probe. Surprisingly, only two of the six strains of mice previously designated Ef2b (NZB and C58) possessed clearly altered restriction fragment sizes for V kappa-1 genes. The remaining four Ef2b strains, namely BDP/J, CE/J, I/LnJ, and P/J, appear to carry V kappa-1 genes similar to those of Ef2a strains. It is suggested that these strains may carry a third form of the V kappa-1A gene, differing in the protein coding region but indistinguishable at the DNA level with the use of BamHI or EcoRI. Alternatively, these strains may fail to express V kappa-1A light chains due to a regulatory defect involving this subgroup of kappa genes.

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