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Science. 2005 Dec 23;310(5756):1970-3.

Diversity and function of adaptive immune receptors in a jawless vertebrate.

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  • 1Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Department of Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL 35294, USA.

Abstract

Instead of the immunoglobulin-type antigen receptors of jawed vertebrates, jawless fish have variable lymphocyte receptors (VLRs), which consist of leucine-rich repeat (LRR) modules. Somatic diversification of the VLR gene is shown here to occur through a multistep assembly of LRR modules randomly selected from a large bank of flanking cassettes. The predicted concave surface of the VLR is lined with hypervariable positively selected residues, and computational analysis suggests a repertoire of about 10(14) unique receptors. Lamprey immunized with anthrax spores responded with the production of soluble antigen-specific VLRs. These findings reveal that two strikingly different modes of antigen recognition through rearranged lymphocyte receptors have evolved in the jawless and jawed vertebrates.

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PMID:
16373579
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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