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New Approaches Towards an Understanding of Deuterostome Immunity

Rast­, ­J. P. and Pancer, Z. and Davidson, E. H. (2000) New Approaches Towards an Understanding of Deuterostome Immunity. In: Origin and Evolution of the Vertebrate Immune System. Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology. No.248. Springer , New York, NY, pp. 3-16. ISBN 978-3-642-64078-0.

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The vertebrate immune system is distinguished by an unusual propensity for genetic invention. For example, three forms of programmed somatic DNA recombination (V-D-J recombination, class switching and a highly targeted form of gene conversion) have arisen entirely independently in the course of immunoglobulin (Ig) heavy-chain gene evolution. Similar phenomena are virtually unknown in other metazoan genetic systems. Genes that mediate immunity are further characterized by accelerated sequence divergence rates when compared to nonimmune genes in studies of mouse and human gene orthologs (Hughes 1997; Murphy 1993). Both of these attributes, the tendency towards mechanistic novelty and a high rate of sequence evolution, may emerge from the dynamic nature of host-pathogen interactions and thus be a universal characteristic of immune systems. To investigate this possibility it is necessary to characterize immunity in animal phyla where the vertebrate forms of adaptive immunity are absent. A number of molecular advances have been made in recent years in the study of arthropod immunity (e.g., Hoffmann et al. 1996; Iwanaga and Kawabata 1998). As these data accumulate, in combination with similar work on an invertebrate deuterostome that is described here, a more general understanding of immunity will emerge.

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Additional Information:© 2000 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. We would like to thank M.K. Anderson for comments on the manuscript, K.J. Peterson for advice on metazoan phylogenetics. L.c. Smith for prepublication use of an S. purpuratus factor B probe and Paola Oliveri for help with the sea urchin PBX homeobox gene analysis. We also thank Jina Yun and Miki Yun for invaluable technical assistance. J.P.R. is supported by NIH Individual NRSA GM-18478. and Z.P. by NIH Training Grant HD-072S7.
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Series Name:Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology
Issue or Number:248
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20160303-095639818
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:64994
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:04 Mar 2016 21:49
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 23:38

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