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The Fishy Disappearance Of Mhcii Genes: Evolution Of Mhci Genes Leads To An Alternative Acquired Immune Response In Atlantic Cod.

740 words - 3 pages

Genes for major histocompatibility complex (MHC) are important for the function of the adaptive immune system [1]. MHCI molecules usually present endogenous antigens to cytotoxic T cells. However, T helper cells are activated by exogenous antigen presentation on MHCII. Post infection memory and immunity also depends on this action of MHCII. Errors in the MHCII pathway are usually associated with immune-deficiency and disease. The alternative cross regulation pathway requires MHCI molecules to copy MHCII molecules and present exogenous antigen and depends on the trafficking facilitated by adapter proteins [2, 4]. These proteins recognize and bind to conserved sorting sequences in the ...view middle of the document...

The first group had divergent binding sites and were considered non – classical MHCI, whereas the second grouping had all the sequences conserved indicating that they were classical MHCI molecules. They also examined the cytoplasmic domains and their results showed novel combinations of two sorting motifs in the cytoplasmic tail, which are usually separate. Signal sequences are critical for intracellular transport and one signal is usually sufficient as most molecules are specialized and follow one pathway. Conservation in group 1 suggests that both these signals evolved through point mutations. Neither of these sequences has been identified in any other species thus far. These sequences resemble those of the MHCII and cross presentation pathways implying that these molecules evolved to function more like MHCII. The two signals would theoretically allow the use of multiple pathways within the endosome compartments and presentation of exogenous peptide to cytotoxic T cells.
Mammalian MHC genes are linked but, in Atlantic cod these genes are on different chromosomes, which allow independent positive selection and increase the likelihood of alternative strategies. This evolution may be what allows the Atlantic cod to handle...

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