Ig class switching requires cell proliferation and is division linked, but the detailed mechanism is unknown. By analyzing the first switching cells early in the kinetics, our analysis suggested that proliferating B cells had a very short G1 phase (<3.5 h), a total cell cycle time of ∼11 h, and that Ig class switching preferentially occurred in the late G 1 or early S phase. Inhibition of cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs) caused dramatic reduction of switching rate within 6 h. This was associated with less targeting of activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID) to the Igh locus. Interestingly, ectopically expressed nuclear AID in HeLa cells was preferentially found in the early S phase. Furthermore, in CDK2 hypomorphic cells there was reduced nuclear AID accumulation. Thus, our data are compatible with the idea that division-linked Ig class switching is in part due to CDK2-regulated AID nuclear access at the G<inf>1</inf>/S border.
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