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Genomics. 2003 Sep;82(3):365-77.

Duplication of primate and rodent B7-H3 immunoglobulin V- and C-like domains: divergent history of functional redundancy and exon loss.

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Wyeth Research, 200 Cambridge Park Drive, 02140, Cambridge, MA, USA.


B7-H3 is a novel protein structurally related to the B7 family of ligands by the presence of a single set of immunoglobulin-V-like and immunoglobulin-C-like (VC) domains. By multiplex PCR, the dominantly expressed form of human B7-H3 was found to be a splice variant containing tandemly duplicated VC domains (VCVC). In contrast, mouse B7-H3 cDNA contained only one single VC form due to an exon structure corresponding to V-(pseudoexon C)-(pseudoexon V)-C. Comparisons of human, monkey, mouse, and hamster genomic B7-H3 reveal that primates, but not rodents, exhibited a higher degree of intramolecular sequence similarity between VC duplications than between molecules. Both VC and VCVC forms of human B7-H3 inhibited CD4(+) T cell proliferation and downregulated cytokine production upon TCR activation. These results suggest independent, but convergent, paths of B7-H3 active domain duplication followed by divergent histories of exon degeneration in rodents and exon maintenance by humans.

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