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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2001 Jun 5;98(12):6771-6. Epub 2001 May 29.

Immune-type receptor genes in zebrafish share genetic and functional properties with genes encoded by the mammalian leukocyte receptor cluster.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, University of South Florida, Children's Research Institute, St. Petersburg, FL 33701, USA.


An extensive, highly diversified multigene family of novel immune-type receptor (nitr) genes has been defined in Danio rerio (zebrafish). The genes are predicted to encode type I transmembrane glycoproteins consisting of extracellular variable (V) and V-like C2 (V/C2) domains, a transmembrane region and a cytoplasmic tail. All of the genes examined encode immunoreceptor tyrosine-based inhibition motifs in the cytoplasmic tail. Radiation hybrid panel mapping and analysis of a deletion mutant line (b240) indicate that a minimum of approximately 40 nitr genes are contiguous in the genome and span approximately 0.6 Mb near the top of zebrafish linkage group 7. One flanking region of the nitr gene complex shares conserved synteny with a region of mouse chromosome 7, which shares conserved synteny with human 19q13.3-q13.4 that encodes the leukocyte receptor cluster. Antibody-induced crosslinking of Nitrs that have been introduced into a human natural killer cell line inhibits the phosphorylation of mitogen-activated protein kinase that is triggered by natural killer-sensitive tumor target cells. Nitrs likely represent intermediates in the evolution of the leukocyte receptor cluster.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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