Send to

Choose Destination
Nat Immunol. 2007 Jun;8(6):647-56. Epub 2007 Apr 29.

Evolution and diversification of lamprey antigen receptors: evidence for involvement of an AID-APOBEC family cytosine deaminase.

Author information

National Center for Biotechnology Information, National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20894, USA.


The variable lymphocyte receptors (VLRs) of jawless vertebrates such as lamprey and hagfish are composed of highly diverse modular leucine-rich repeats. Each lymphocyte assembles a unique VLR by rearrangement of the germline gene. In the lamprey genome, we identify here about 850 distinct cassettes encoding leucine-rich repeat modules that serve as sequence templates for the hypervariable VLR repertoires. The data indicate a gene conversion-like process in VLR diversification. Genomic analysis suggested a link between the VLR and platelet glycoprotein receptors. Lamprey lymphocytes express two putative deaminases of the AID-APOBEC family that may be involved in VLR diversification, as indicated by in vitro mutagenesis and recombination assays. Vertebrate acquired immunity could have therefore originated from lymphocyte receptor diversification by an ancestral AID-like DNA cytosine deaminase.

Comment in

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Publication types, MeSH terms, Substances, Secondary source ID, Grant support

Publication types

MeSH terms


Secondary source ID

Grant support

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Nature Publishing Group
Loading ...
Support Center