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Dev Comp Immunol. 2013 Dec;41(4):631-43. doi: 10.1016/j.dci.2013.06.015. Epub 2013 Jun 29.

Characterization of the CCR3 and CCR9 genes in miiuy croaker and different selection pressures imposed on different domains between mammals and teleosts.

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Laboratory for Marine Living Resources and Molecular Engineering, College of Marine Science, Zhejiang Ocean University, Zhoushan, PR China.


The innate immune system can recognize non-self through pattern recognition receptors and provides a first line of antimicrobial host defense. Thus innate immunity plays a very important role in resistance against major bacterial disease in vertebrates. In the innate immune responses, the chemokine receptors act as the main receptors of chemokines which are released at the sites of infection, inflammation and injury. In this study, the Miichthys miiuy CCR3 and CCR9 genes were cloned and characterized, showing that MIMI-CCR3 possesses a highly conserved DRYLA motif similar to that of other fishes. MIMI-CCR3 and CCR9 were ubiquitously expressed in all tested tissues and the expressions were significantly up-regulated after infection with Vibrio anguillarum except that of CCR9 in spleen. Evolutionary analysis showed that all the ancestral lineages of CCR3 and CCR9 in mammals and teleosts underwent positive selection, indicating that the ancestor of terrestrial animals further evolved to adapt to terrestrial environments and the continuous intrusion of microbes stimulated the evolution of CCR genes in the ancestor of teleost. Multiple ML methods were used to detect the robust candidates for sites under positive selection. In total, 11 and 8 positively selected sites were found in the subsets of current mammal and teleost CCR3 genes, and 3 and 2 sites were detected in the subsets of current mammals and teleosts in CCR9. Interestingly, for mammal CCR3 and CCR9 genes, the robust candidates of positively selected sites were mainly located in the extracellular domains which were the ligand binding and pathogen interaction regions. For teleost CCR3 and CCR9 genes, the positively selected sites were not only located in the extracellular domains but also in the C-terminal and intracellular domains, indicating mammals and teleosts experienced different selection pressures upon their N-terminus, C-terminus and intracellular loops of CCRs.


CCR3; CCR9; Chemokine receptor; Expression pattern; Miichthys miiuy (miiuy croaker); Molecular evolution

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