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Immunogenetics. 2003 Oct;55(7):472-9. Epub 2003 Aug 30.

Fugu rubripes possesses genes for the entire set of the ITAM-bearing transmembrane signal subunits.

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Laboratory of Immunogenetics, Institute of Cytology and Genetics, Lavrentjev St. 10, Novosibirsk 630090, Russia.


The transmembrane signaling subunits (TSSs) bearing the immunoreceptor tyrosine-based activation motif (ITAM) play a crucial role in triggering the effector functions of mammalian leukocytes. The involvement in key immune reactions and obvious extension through duplication events make TSSs valuable markers of the evolution of the immune system. We surveyed the genomic sequences of the teleostean fish Fugu rubripes for the presence of genes encoding these accessory molecules. Automatic gene prediction was not efficient because of the poor ability of the programs used to recognize the short exons encoding the intracellular regions of TSSs. However, the unique compactness of the Fugu genome and the conservation of the exon/intron arrangements of the TSS genes facilitated their recognition by visual inspection of the candidate genomic sequences. Evidence for the presence of the CD3epsilon, CD3gamma/delta, CD79a, CD79b, TCRzeta, FcRgamma, DAP12 and DAP10 genes in the Fugu genome was obtained. Furthermore, conserved synteny for the short regions including the TSS genes was revealed by comparison of the Fugu and human genomes. The data demonstrate that the set of TSSs arose before the teleost-tetrapod split and provide a starting point for experimental investigation of the molecular evolution of the leukocyte-activating receptor complexes from fish species to mammals.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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