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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Genomic structure and sequence of the leukocyte common antigen (CD45) from the pufferfish Fugu rubripes and comparison with its mammalian homologue.

The leukocyte common antigen (CD45) is a transmembrane protein tyrosine phosphatase expressed only in nucleated hematopoietic cells. It can be expressed as different isoforms depending on the cell type and the state of activation or differentiation and it is known to play a crucial role in the maturation and differentiation of B and T lymphocytes. However, the regulation of CD45 expression and function has been difficult to study due to the complexity of the gene in mammals. In this paper, we report the isolation and characterization of a CD45 orthologue gene from the Japanese pufferfish Fugu rubripes (Fugu). The Fugu CD45 cDNA sequence contains an open reading frame of 1,246 amino acids with a variable extracellular region as a result of the alternative splicing of two exons. The intracellular region is organized into two highly conserved tyrosine phosphatase domains. The extracellular region is not conserved except in some structural domains. The Fugu CD45 gene has a similar exon/intron organization to that of mammals except in the 5' end where some exons are missing or fused together. By contrast, the gene is ten times smaller in Fugu due to the small size of the introns. These studies show a greater flexibility to evolve at the 5' end of the gene and provide clues to the functionally important domains of the molecule. In addition, the lower complexity of this gene in Fugu should allow easier mapping of its regulatory sequences.[1]


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