The genomic organization of the chicken CD8α gene was investigated to determine the basis of its polymorphism. Contiguous to the CB8α gene we identified multiple DNA blocks possessing sequences homologous to CB8α. Gene conversions and recombination over evolutionary time among CD8α and these CD8α homologous genes seem to account for the observed polymorphism. Furthermore, these CD8α-like DNAs encode a distinct multigene family of immunoreceptors that have a charged or polar residue in place of the interspecies-conserved CD8α transmembrane proline residue and a short cytoplasmic tail nonhomologous to CD8α. The identification of this novel multigene family with an organization reminiscent of human kiler Ig-like receptors raises compelling questions on their evolutionary relationship among immunoreceptors.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Immunology and Allergy