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How can immune cells produce so many different kinds of antibodies with different variable regions if there are so many mechanisms inside the cells that try to keep the DNA sequence as constant as possible (i.e. prevent mutations, which are actually necessary to create the different kinds of antibodies)?

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This process is called somatic hypermutation. I just looked it up in my Alberts and it seems the exact mechanism is not known (though the book is a bit older now, this might have changed). – Mad Scientist Jun 21 '14 at 10:04
B- and T- cell receptors are the only place where the DNA sequence is edited, changed, mutated and altered in the body on purpose. Have a look at somatic hypermutation in the Wikipedia. – Chris Jun 21 '14 at 10:16
Thank you for your help! – ask937 Jun 21 '14 at 19:37

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