Note to users. If you're seeing this message, it means that your browser cannot find this page's style/presentation instructions -- or possibly that you are using a browser that does not support current Web standards. Find out more about why this message is appearing, and what you can do to make your experience of our site the best it can be.

Sci. STKE, 13 July 2004
Vol. 2004, Issue 241, p. tw256
[DOI: 10.1126/stke.2412004tw256]


IMMUNOLOGY Self-Defense in the Spineless

A hallmark of the vertebrate immune system is the ability to generate a huge repertoire of distinct antigen receptors through somatic shuffling of immune receptor gene segments. Although invertebrates also have proteins encoded by members of the immunoglobulin superfamily (IgSF), it has not so far been apparent that they have evolved similar means of generating receptor diversity. Exploring the immune defenses in a species of snail, Zhang et al. uncovered diverse IgSF genes, termed fibrinogen-related protein (FREP) genes. Closer scrutiny revealed FREP diversity to be generated by point mutation and by a process similar to gene conversion--two mechanisms that help to generate antibody diversity in vertebrates.

S.-M. Zhang, C. M. Adema, T. B. Kepler, E. S. Loker, Diversification of Ig superfamily genes in an invertebrate. Science 305, 251-254 (2004). [Abstract] [Full Text]

Citation: Self-Defense in the Spineless. Sci. STKE 2004, tw256 (2004).

To Advertise     Find Products

Science Signaling. ISSN 1937-9145 (online), 1945-0877 (print). Pre-2008: Science's STKE. ISSN 1525-8882