Identification of natural killer cell receptor genes in the genome of the marsupial Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii)

van, der Kraan Lauren E., Wong, Emily S. W., Lo, Nathan, Ujvari, Beata and Belov, Katherine 2013, Identification of natural killer cell receptor genes in the genome of the marsupial Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii), Immuno-genetics, vol. 65, no. 1, pp. 25-35, doi: 10.1007/s00251-012-0643-z.

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Title Identification of natural killer cell receptor genes in the genome of the marsupial Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii)
Author(s) van, der Kraan Lauren E.
Wong, Emily S. W.
Lo, Nathan
Ujvari, BeataORCID iD for Ujvari, Beata
Belov, Katherine
Journal name Immuno-genetics
Volume number 65
Issue number 1
Start page 25
End page 35
Total pages 11
Publisher Springer-Verlag
Place of publication Berlin, Germany
Publication date 2013
ISSN 1432-1211
Keyword(s) NKC
Natural killer cell receptors
tasmanian devil
Summary Within the mammalian immune system, natural killer (NK) cells contribute to the first line of defence against infectious agents and tumours. Their activity is regulated, in part, by cell surface NK cell receptors. NK receptors can be divided into two unrelated, but functionally analogous superfamilies based on the structure of their extracellular ligand-binding domains. Receptors belonging to the C-type lectin superfamily are predominantly encoded in the natural killer complex (NKC), while receptors belonging to the immunoglobulin superfamily are predominantly encoded in the leukocyte receptor complex (LRC). Natural killer cell receptors are emerging as a rapidly evolving gene family which can display significant intra- and interspecific variation. To date, most studies have focused on eutherian mammals, with significantly less known about the evolution of these receptors in marsupials. Here, we describe the identification of 43 immunoglobulin domain-containing LRC genes in the genome of the Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii), the largest remaining marsupial carnivore and only the second marsupial species to be studied. We also identify orthologs of NKC genesKLRK1, CD69, CLEC4E, CLEC1B, CLEC1A and an ortholog of an opossum NKC receptor. Characterisation of these regions in a second, distantly related marsupial provides new insights into the dynamic evolutionary histories of these receptors in mammals. Understanding the functional role of these genes is also important for the development of therapeutic agents against Devil Facial Tumour Disease, a contagious cancer that threatens the Tasmanian devil with extinction.
Language eng
DOI 10.1007/s00251-012-0643-z
Field of Research 069999 Biological Sciences not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2013, Springer
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