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BMC Genomics. 2005 Mar 24;6:45.

Genomic organization, annotation, and ligand-receptor inferences of chicken chemokines and chemokine receptor genes based on comparative genomics.

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  • 1Department of Poultry Science, Texas A & M University, College Station, TX 77843, USA. jixinwang@tamu.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Chemokines and their receptors play important roles in host defense, organogenesis, hematopoiesis, and neuronal communication. Forty-two chemokines and 19 cognate receptors have been found in the human genome. Prior to this report, only 11 chicken chemokines and 7 receptors had been reported. The objectives of this study were to systematically identify chicken chemokines and their cognate receptor genes in the chicken genome and to annotate these genes and ligand-receptor binding by a comparative genomics approach.

RESULTS:

Twenty-three chemokine and 14 chemokine receptor genes were identified in the chicken genome. All of the chicken chemokines contained a conserved CC, CXC, CX3C, or XC motif, whereas all the chemokine receptors had seven conserved transmembrane helices, four extracellular domains with a conserved cysteine, and a conserved DRYLAIV sequence in the second intracellular domain. The number of coding exons in these genes and the syntenies are highly conserved between human, mouse, and chicken although the amino acid sequence homologies are generally low between mammalian and chicken chemokines. Chicken genes were named with the systematic nomenclature used in humans and mice based on phylogeny, synteny, and sequence homology.

CONCLUSION:

The independent nomenclature of chicken chemokines and chemokine receptors suggests that the chicken may have ligand-receptor pairings similar to mammals. All identified chicken chemokines and their cognate receptors were identified in the chicken genome except CCR9, whose ligand was not identified in this study. The organization of these genes suggests that there were a substantial number of these genes present before divergence between aves and mammals and more gene duplications of CC, CXC, CCR, and CXCR subfamilies in mammals than in aves after the divergence.

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