IGK (Immunoglobulin Kappa)

2000-07-01   Marie-Paule Lefranc 

IMGT, LIGM, IGH, UPR CNRS 1142, 141 rue de la Cardonille, 34396 Montpellier Cedex 5, France


Atlas Image
for complete Figure, see: chromosome 2, IMGT (The International ImMunoGeneTics information system ®) © Copyright 1995-2017 IMGT, IMGT is a CNRS trademark


Atlas Image
V-GENE: Green box: Functional; Yellow box: Open reading frame; Red: Pseudogene.
J-GENE: Grey: Functional .
C-GENE: Blue: Functional.
for complete Figure, see: locus IGK, IMGT (The International ImMunoGeneTics information system ®) © Copyright 1995-2017 IMGT, IMGT is a CNRS trademark


  • The human IGK locus at 2p12 spans 1820 kb. It consists of 76 IGKV genes belonging to 7 subgroups, 5 IGKJ segments, and a unique IGKC gene
  • The 76 IGKV genes are organized in two clusters separated by 800 kb. The IGKV distal cluster (the most 5 from IGKC and in the most centromeric position) spans 400 kb and comprises 36 genes. The IGKV proximal cluster (in 3 of the locus, closer to IGKC, and in the most telomeric position) spans 600 kb and comprises 40 genes.
  • The potential genomic IGK repertoire comprises 31 to 35 functional IGKV genes belonging to 5 subgroups, the 5 IGKJ segments, and the unique IGKC gene.
  • One rare IGKV haplotype has been described which contains only the proximal cluster. This haplotype comprises the 40 proximal IGKV genes belonging to 7 subgroups, of which 17 to 19 are functional and belong to 5 subgroups.
  • Twenty-eight IGKV orphons have been identified and sequenced: 3 on the short arm of chromosome 2 but outside of the main IGK locus, 13 on the long arm of chromosome 2, 6 on chromosome 22, one on chromosome 1, one on chromosome 15, and 4 outside of chromosome 2
  • If both the proximal and distal IGKV clusters are present, the total number of human IGK genes per haploid genome is 82 (110 genes, if the orphons are included) of which 37-41 are functional. If only the proximal IGKV cluster is present, the total number of genes per haploid genome is 46 (74 genes, if the orphons are included) of which 23-25 genes are functional.
  • List of the human IGK genes
  • Mutations


    Mutations which correspond to allelic polymorphisms of the functional germline IGKV, IGKJ and IGKC genes are described in the IMGT database: (IMGT Repertoire> Alignments of alleles)

    Implicated in

    Entity name
    Translocations which frequently result from errors of the recombinase enzyme complexe (RAG1, RAG2, etc.), which is responsable of the Immunoglobulin and T cell receptor V-J and V-D-J rearrangements. IGKV or IGKJ recombination signals or isolated heptamer are observed at the breakpoints
    Atlas Image
    c-Immunoglobulin genes IgK at 2p12, in normal cells: PAC 1117G4 - Courtesy Mariano Rocchi, Resources for Molecular Cytogenetics.
    Entity name
    t(2;3;)(p12;q27); involve IGK - BCL6 in 3q27
    B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphomas (NHL), mainly diffuse large cell lymphoma; adult aggressive lymphoma
    Entity name
    t(2;8)(p12;q24); involve IGK - C-MYC in 8q24
    B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL3) and non-Hodgkin lymphomas (NHL), especially in the Burkitt lymphoma
    the prognosis has evolved with new treatments


    Atlas Image


    Pubmed IDLast YearTitleAuthors
    98134141998The human immunoglobulin kappa variable (IGKV) genes and joining (IGKJ) segments.Barbié V et al
    111921422000Duration of effect of botulinum toxin type A in adult patients with cervical dystonia: a retrospective chart review.Brashear A et al
    81499531994A directory of human germ-line V kappa segments reveals a strong bias in their usage.Cox JP et al
    67758181980Cloned human and mouse kappa immunoglobulin constant and J region genes conserve homology in functional segments.Hieter PA et al
    82238631993The V kappa genes of the L regions and the repertoire of V kappa gene sequences in the human germ line.Huber C et al
    115498452001Nomenclature of the human immunoglobulin kappa (IGK) genes.Lefranc MP et al
    68120581982Localization of human immunoglobulin kappa light chain variable region genes to the short arm of chromosome 2 by in situ hybridization.Malcolm S et al
    105752771999Protein displays of the human immunoglobulin heavy, kappa and lambda variable and joining regions.Scaviner D et al
    80111751994The human immunoglobulin kappa locus: pseudogenes, unique and repetitive sequences.Schäble K et al
    82762551993The immunoglobulin kappa locus-or-what has been learned from looking closely at one-tenth of a percent of the human genome.Zachau HG et al

    Other Information

    Locus ID:

    NCBI: 50802
    HGNC: 5715


    dbSNP: 50802
    ClinVar: 50802


    Pubmed IDYearTitleCitations
    126150022003A significant fraction of conserved noncoding DNA in human and mouse consists of predicted matrix attachment regions.33
    175460322007Allelic 'choice' governs somatic hypermutation in vivo at the immunoglobulin kappa-chain locus.22
    153561362004Unraveling the consecutive recombination events in the human IGK locus.13
    205051432010Ig-free light chains play a crucial role in murine mast cell-dependent colitis and are associated with human inflammatory bowel diseases.13
    223967842012EBV-encoded LMP1 upregulates Igκ 3'enhancer activity and Igκ expression in nasopharyngeal cancer cells by activating the Ets-1 through ERKs signaling.10
    227059882012IGKV3 proteins as candidate "off-the-shelf" vaccines for kappa-light chain-restricted B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphomas.9
    264298762015IGK with conserved IGΚV/IGΚJ repertoire is expressed in acute myeloid leukemia and promotes leukemic cell migration.8
    233765562013Free light chain monomer-dimer patterns in the diagnosis of multiple sclerosis.6
    245987402014Role of κ→λ light-chain constant-domain switch in the structure and functionality of A17 reactibody.6
    257003442015Immunoglobulin kappa variable region gene selection during early human B cell development in health and systemic lupus erythematosus.6


    Marie-Paule Lefranc

    IGK (Immunoglobulin Kappa)

    Atlas Genet Cytogenet Oncol Haematol. 2000-07-01

    Online version: http://atlasgeneticsoncology.org/gene/17/igk-(immunoglobulin-kappa)