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

Kirrel2, a novel immunoglobulin superfamily gene expressed primarily in beta cells of the pancreatic islets.

A novel immunoglobulin superfamily (Igsf) protein gene was discovered by computational analysis of human draft genomic DNA, and multiple cDNA clones were obtained. The protein encoded by this gene contains five Ig domains, one transmembrane domain, and an intracellular domain. It has significant similarity with several known Igsf proteins, including Drosophila RST (irregular chiasm C-roughest) protein and mammalian KIRREL (kin of irregular chiasm C-roughest), NEPH1, and NPHS1 (nephrin) proteins. All these proteins have multiple Ig domains, possess properties of cell adhesion molecules, and play important roles in organ development. RT-PCR and Northern blot results indicate this gene is predominantly expressed in pancreas, and public sequence databases indicate there is also expression in the nervous system. We have named this gene Kirrel2 (kin of irregular chiasm-like 2), to reflect its similarity to irregular chiasm C-roughest and Kirrel. Four splice forms of Kirrel2 were observed, including two that we cloned from pancreas mRNA as well as two GenBank entries, one from the brain and one from a retinoblastoma cell line. A partial cDNA clone of the mouse orthologue was obtained by RT-PCR from mouse brain, and the inferred protein sequence has 85% sequence identity to the human protein. Immunohistochemical staining results indicate that the KIRREL2 protein is conserved from rodents to primates, and it is highly expressed in pancreatic islets. RT-PCR results on mouse pancreatic cell lines indicate that expression in the pancreas is restricted to beta cells. Thus, KIRREL2 protein is a beta-cell- expressed Ig domain protein and may be involved in pancreas development or beta cell function.[1]


  1. Kirrel2, a novel immunoglobulin superfamily gene expressed primarily in beta cells of the pancreatic islets. Sun, C., Kilburn, D., Lukashin, A., Crowell, T., Gardner, H., Brundiers, R., Diefenbach, B., Carulli, J.P. Genomics (2003) [Pubmed]
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