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Immunobiology. 2017 Mar;222(3):473-482. doi: 10.1016/j.imbio.2016.10.006. Epub 2016 Oct 12.

The non-mammalian MIF superfamily.

Author information

1
Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Immunology, Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), Brussels, Belgium; Myeloid Cell Immunology Lab, VIB Inflammation Research Center, Gent, Belgium.
2
Amphibian Evolution Lab, Department of Biology, Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), Brussels, Belgium.
3
Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Immunology, Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), Brussels, Belgium; VIB Structural Biology Research Center, Brussels, Belgium.
4
Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Immunology, Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), Brussels, Belgium; VIB Structural Biology Research Center, Brussels, Belgium; Laboratory for Biomedical Research, Ghent University Global Campus, Yeonsu-Gu, Incheon, South Korea.
5
Department of Internal Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA.
6
Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Immunology, Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), Brussels, Belgium; Myeloid Cell Immunology Lab, VIB Inflammation Research Center, Gent, Belgium. Electronic address: bstijlem@vub.ac.be.

Abstract

Macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) was first described as a cytokine 50 years ago, and emerged in mammals as a pleiotropic protein with pro-inflammatory, chemotactic, and growth-promoting activities. In addition, MIF has gained substantial attention as a pivotal upstream mediator of innate and adaptive immune responses and with pathologic roles in several diseases. Of less importance in mammals is an intrinsic but non-physiologic enzymatic activity that points to MIF's evolution from an ancient defense molecule. Therefore, it is not surprising that mif-like genes also have been found across a range of different organisms including bacteria, plants, ‎protozoa, helminths, molluscs, arthropods, fish, amphibians and birds. While Genebank analysis identifying mif-like genes across species is extensive, contained herein is an overview of the non-mammalian MIF-like proteins that have been most well studied experimentally. For many of these organisms, MIF contributes to an innate defense system or plays a role in development. For parasitic organisms however, MIF appears to function as a virulence factor aiding in the establishment or persistence of infection by modulating the host immune response. Consequently, a combined targeting of both parasitic and host MIF could lead to more effective treatment strategies for parasitic diseases of socioeconomic importance.

KEYWORDS:

Homology; Immunity; Macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF); Parasitology

PMID:
27780588
PMCID:
PMC5293613
DOI:
10.1016/j.imbio.2016.10.006
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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