We constructed two megabase-sized YACs containing large contiguous fragments of the human heavy and kappa (κ) light chain immunoglobulin (Ig) loci in nearly germline configuration, including approximately 66 V(H) and 32 V(κ) genes. We introduced these YACs into Ig-inactivated mice and observed human antibody production which closely resembled that seen in humans in all respects, including gene rearrangement, assembly, and repertoire. Diverse Ig gene usage together with somatic hypermutation enables the mice to generate high affinity fully human antibodies to multiple antigens, including human proteins. Our results underscore the importance of the large Ig fragments with multiple V genes for restoration of a normal humoral immune response. These mice are likely to be a valuable tool for the generation of therapeutic antibodies.
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