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PLoS One. 2008 Aug 6;3(8):e2880. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0002880.

Genome-wide survey and expression profiling of CCCH-zinc finger family reveals a functional module in macrophage activation.

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  • 1Biomolecular Science Center, College of Medicine, University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida, United States of America.


Previously, we have identified a novel CCCH zinc finger protein family as negative regulators of macrophage activation. To gain an overall insight into the entire CCCH zinc finger gene family and to evaluate their potential role in macrophage activation, here we performed a genome-wide survey of CCCH zinc finger genes in mouse and human. Totally 58 CCCH zinc finger genes in mouse and 55 in human were identified and most of them have not been reported previously. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that the mouse CCCH family was divided into 6 groups. Meanwhile, we employed quantitative real-time PCR to profile their tissue expression patterns in adult mice. Clustering analysis showed that most of CCCH genes were broadly expressed in all of tissues examined with various levels. Interestingly, several CCCH genes Mbnl3, Zfp36l2, Zfp36, Zc3h12a, Zc3h12d, Zc3h7a and Leng9 were enriched in macrophage-related organs such as thymus, spleen, lung, intestine and adipose. Consistently, a comprehensive assessment of changes in expression of the 58 members of the mouse CCCH family during macrophage activation also revealed that these CCCH zinc finger genes were associated with the activation of bone marrow-derived macrophages by lipopolysaccharide. Taken together, this study not only identified a functional module of CCCH zinc finger genes in the regulation of macrophage activation but also provided the framework for future studies to dissect the function of this emerging gene family.

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