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J Immunol. 2004 Jul 15;173(2):1129-39.

Unprecedented multiplicity of Ig transmembrane and secretory mRNA forms in the cartilaginous fish.

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1
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, FL 33101, USA. Lynn.Rumfelt@sw.ca

Abstract

In most jawed vertebrates including cartilaginous fish, membrane-bound IgM is expressed as a five Ig superfamily (Igsf)-domain H chain attached to a transmembrane (Tm) region. Heretofore, bony fish IgM was the one exception with IgM mRNA spliced to produce a four-domain Tm H chain. We now demonstrate that the Tm and secretory (Sec) mRNAs of the novel cartilaginous fish Ig isotypes, IgW and IgNAR, are present in multiple forms, most likely generated by alternative splicing. In the nurse shark, Ginglymostoma cirratum, and horn shark, Heterodontus francisci, alternative splicing of Tm exons to the second or the fourth constant (C(H)) exons produces two distinct IgW Tm cDNAs. Although the seven-domain IgW Sec cDNA form contains a canonical secretory tail shared with IgM, IgNAR, and IgA, we report a three-domain cDNA form of shark IgW (IgW(short)) having an unusual Sec tail, which is orthologous to skate IgX(short) cDNA. The IgW and IgW(short) Sec transcripts are restricted in their tissue distribution and expression levels vary among individual sharks, with all forms expressed early in ontogeny. IgNAR mRNA is alternatively spliced to produce a truncated four-domain Tm cDNA and a second Tm cDNA is expressed identical in Igsf domains as the Sec form. PBL is enriched in the Tm cDNA of these Igs. These molecular data suggest that cartilaginous fish have augmented their humoral immune repertoire by diversifying the sizes of their Ig isotypes. Furthermore, these Tm cDNAs are prototypical and the truncated variants may translate as more stable protein at the cell surface.

PMID:
15240702
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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