In receptor editing, a phenomenon that has recently come to light and into favor, a rearranged VDJ or VJ gene segment encoding a variable region of an Ig chain is replaced by another. In this commentary, the molecular mechanisms involved in the editing process are examined in some detail. Editing is most likely mediated by the same V(D)J recombinase activity responsible for the formation of the original VDJ or VJ segment. An embedded heptamer, which is present near the 3' end of many VH elements, is used as the recombination signal sequence at the Ig heavy chain locus. It has been postulated that the mediation of receptor editing is the evolutionary force maintaining the embedded heptamer. Some of the evidence for and against this hypothesis is discussed.