Analysis of somatic mutations in V regions of Ig genes is important for understanding various biological processes. It is customary to estimate Ag selection on Ig genes by assessment of replacement (R) as opposed to silent (S) mutations in the complementary-determining regions and S as opposed to R mutations in the framework regions. In the past such an evaluation was performed using a binomial distribution model equation, which is inappropriate for Ig genes in which mutations have four different distribution possibilities (R and S mutations in the complementary-determining region and/or framework regions of the gene). In the present work, we propose a multinomial distribution model for assessment of Ag selection. Side-by-side application of multinomial and binomial models on 86 previously established Ig sequences disclosed 8 discrepancies, leading to opposite statistical conclusions about Ag selection. We suggest the use of the multinomial model for all future analysis of Ag selection.
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