Sep 18, 2015

Structure and evolutionary history of a large family of NLR proteins in the zebrafish

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Kerstin HoweMaria Leptin


Animals and plants have evolved a range of mechanisms for recognizing noxious substances and organisms. A particular challenge, most successfully met by the adaptive immune system in vertebrates, is the specific recognition of potential pathogens, which themselves evolve to escape recognition. A variety of genomic and evolutionary mechanisms shape large families of proteins dedicated to detecting pathogens and create the diversity of binding sites needed for epitope recognition. One family involved in innate immunity are the NACHT-domain-and Leucine-Rich-Repeat-containing (NLR) proteins. Mammals have a small number of NLR proteins, which are involved in first-line immune defense and recognize several conserved molecular patterns. However, there is no evidence that they cover a wider spectrum of differential pathogenic epitopes. In other species, mostly those without adaptive immune systems, NLRs have expanded into very large families. A family of nearly 400 NLR proteins is encoded in the zebrafish genome. They are subdivided into four groups defined by their NACHT and effector domains, with a characteristic overall structure that arose in fishes from a fusion of the NLR domains with a domain used for immune recognition, the B30...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

ZNF2 gene
Zinc Fingers
Immune System
LRRC4 protein, human
Pyotraumatic Dermatitis

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