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J Immunol. 2010 Aug 1;185(3):1367-74. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.0903128.

Alternative adaptive immunity in jawless vertebrates.

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  • 1Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Emory Vaccine Center, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA. brantley.herrin@emory.edu

Abstract

Jawless vertebrates use variable lymphocyte receptors (VLRs) that are generated by RAG-independent combinatorial assembly of leucine-rich repeat cassettes for Ag recognition, instead of the Ig-based Ag receptors used by jawed vertebrates. The VLR genes encode for crescent-shaped proteins that use variable beta-strands and a C-terminal loop to bind to Ags rather than the six CDR loops used by BCRs and TCRs. VLR mAbs have been isolated recently, which enabled the structure of VLR-Ag complexes to be defined. The jawless vertebrate adaptive immune system has many similarities to the Ig-based system of jawed vertebrates, including the compartmentalized development of B-like and T-like lymphocyte lineages that proliferate and differentiate into VLR-secreting plasmacytes and proinflammatory cytokine-producing cells in response to Ags. The definition of common features of the VLR-based and Ig-based systems offers fresh insight into the evolution of adaptive immunity.

PMID:
20660361
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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