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Cambridge Immunology Network



My group studies the chromatin remodelling mechanisms that underlie V(D)J recombination and allelic exclusion of antigen receptor loci, in particular the immunoglobulin heavy and light chain loci. We have shown that large-scale non-coding RNA transcription (antisense and intergenic) precedes both D to J and V to DJ recombination at regions poised for recombination, and have proposed that this process opens up the chromatin to facilitiate stage-specific V(D)J recombination. We have developed RNA-FISH techniques to visualise primary transcription on individual Ig alleles in single cells. We are also interested in the nuclear organisation of V(D)J recombination, and in understanding events that predispose to generation of chromosomal translocations of the Ig loci and B cell lymphoma.


Key publications: 

Bolland DJ, King MR, Reik W, Corcoran AE, Krueger C. Robust 3D DNA FISH using directly labeled probes. J Vis Exp. 2013 Aug 15;(78).

Matheson LS, Corcoran AE. Local and global epigenetic regulation of V(D)J recombination. Curr Top Microbiol Immunol. 2012;356:65-89

Corcoran AE. The epigenetic role of non-coding RNA transcription and nuclear organization in immunoglobulin repertoire generation. Semin Immunol. 2010 Dec;22(6):353-61.

Ramadani F, Bolland DJ, Garcon F, Emery JL, Vanhaesebroeck B, Corcoran AE, Okkenhaug K.  The PI3K isoforms p110alpha and p110delta are essential for pre-B cell receptor signaling and B cell development. Sci Signal. 2010 Aug 10;3(134

Featherstone K, Wood AL, Bowen AJ, Corcoran AE.The mouse immunoglobulin heavy chain V-D intergenic sequence contains insulators that may regulate ordered V(D)J recombination. J Biol Chem. 2010 Mar 26;285(13):9327-38.

Bolland DJ, Wood AL, Corcoran AE.Large-scale chromatin remodeling at the immunoglobulin heavy chain locus: a paradigm for multigene regulation. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2009;650:59-72.

Bowen AJ, Corcoran AE. How chromatin remodelling allows shuffling of immunoglobulin heavy chain genes. Mol Biosyst. 2008 Aug;4(8):790-8.

Dr Anne  Corcoran
Takes PhD students
Available for consultancy


Departments and institutes: 
Person keywords: 
cytokine/interleukin/chemokine receptors
B cells
chromosome conformation capture (3C)
confocal microscopy
T cell receptor (TCR)
B cell receptor (BCR)
fluorescence microscopy
non-coding RNA
human studies
affinity maturation
antibody responses
animal models
chromatin immunoprecipitation
allelic exclusion
V(D)J recombination
isotype switching
cell culture
cell development
somatic hypermutation