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Vet Immunol Immunopathol. 2010 Aug 15;136(3-4):297-304. doi: 10.1016/j.vetimm.2010.03.007. Epub 2010 Mar 17.

Molecular and structural characterisation of a macrophage migration inhibitory factor from sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax L.).

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Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Tuscia, Largo dell'Università s.n.c., 01100 Viterbo, Italy.


The macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) is a cytokine produced in numerous cell types, mainly T lymphocytes and macrophages, in response to inflammatory stimuli. In this paper we report the identification of a cDNA encoding a MIF molecule from sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax L.), its expression analysis and its 3D structure obtained by template-based modelling. The sea bass MIF cDNA consists of 609bp that translates in one reading frame to give the entire molecule containing 115 amino acids. The sequence contains three cysteine residues in conserved positions compared to human MIF and most Teleost fishes, with the exception of zebrafish and carp. The Cys(57)-Ala(58)-Leu(59)-Cys(60) motif, present inside the stretch important for JAB1-interaction and mediator of the thiol-protein oxidoreductase activity of MIF, is conserved in sea bass, together with the Pro(2) residue that is crucial for the tautomerase catalytic activity. Real-time PCR analyses revealed that MIF is constitutively expressed in all selected tissues and organs, with the highest mRNA level observed in thymus. MIF expression was induced after 4h in vitro stimulation of head kidney leukocytes with LPS and decreased after 24h. The predicted 3D model of sea bass MIF has been used to verify the presence of structural requirements for its known biological activities.

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