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Mol Cell Biol. 2000 May;20(9):3097-101.

Deletion of the murine Duffy gene (Dfy) reveals that the Duffy receptor is functionally redundant.

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  • 1Laboratory of Cell Biology, Lindsley F. Kimball Research Institute, New York Blood Center, New York, New York, USA.

Erratum in

  • Mol Cell Biol. 2003 Apr;23(8):3030.


All of the antigenic determinants of the Duffy blood group system are in a glycoprotein (gp-Fy), which is encoded by a single-copy gene (FY) located on chromosome 1. gp-Fy is also produced in several cell types, including endothelial cells of capillary and postcapillary venules, the epithelial cell of kidney collecting ducts, lung alveoli, and the Purkinje cells of the cerebellum. This protein, which spans the cell membrane seven times, is a member of the superfamily of chemokine receptors and a malarial parasite receptor. The mouse Duffy gene (Dfy) homolog of human FY is also a single-copy gene, which maps in a region of conserved synteny with FY and produces a glycoprotein with 60% homology to the human protein. The mouse Duffy-like protein also binds chemokines. To study the biological role of gp-Fy, we generated a mouse strain in which Dfy was deleted. These homozygous Dfy(-/-) mice were indistinguishable in size, development, and health from wild-type and heterozygous littermates. We also examined components of the immune system and found no differences in lymph nodes or peripheral blood leukocyte levels between knockout and wild-type mice. The gross and histological anatomy of the thymus, spleen, lung, and brain showed no significant differences between mutants and wild-type mice. There was no indication of an overall difference between the knockout and wild-type mice in systematic neurological examinations. The only significant difference between Dfy(-/-) and Dfy(+/+) mice that we found was in neutrophil migration in peritoneal inflammations induced by lipopolysaccharide and thioglycolate. In mice homozygous for the deletion, there was less neutrophil recruitment into the peritoneal cavity and neutrophil influx in the intestines and lungs than in wild-type mice. Despite this, the susceptibility to Staphylococcus aureus infection was the same in the absence and in the presence of gp-Fy. Our results indicate that gp-Fy is functionally a redundant protein that may participate in the neutrophil migratory process.

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