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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2000 Nov 21;9724:13156-61. doi: 10.1073/pnas.230096397.
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Dynamic expression of multiple scavenger receptor cysteine-rich genes in coelomocytes of the purple sea urchin.

Pancer Z .

Coelomocytes, the heterogeneous population of sea urchin putative immune cells, were found to express a complex set of transcripts featuring scavenger receptor cysteine-rich (SRCR) repeats. SRCR domains define a metazoan superfamily of proteins, many of which are implicated in development and regulation of the immune system of vertebrates. Coelomocytes transcribe multiple SRCR genes from among a multigene family encoding an estimated number of 1,200 SRCR domains in specific patterns particular to each individual. Transcription levels for given SRCR genes may range from pronounced to undetectable, yet all tested animals harbor the genomic loci encoding these genes. Analysis of several SRCR genes revealed multiple loci corresponding to each type. In the case of one SRCR type, a cluster of at least three genes was detected within a 133-kb bacterial artificial chromosome insert, and conserved as well as unique regions were identified in sequences of three genomic clones derived from a single animal. Array hybridizations with repeated samples of coelomocyte messages revealed substantial alterations in levels of expression of many SRCR genes, with fluctuations of up to 10-fold in 1 week and up to 30-fold over a period of 3 months. This report is the first demonstration of genomic and transcriptional complexity in molecules expressed by invertebrate coelomocytes. The mechanisms controlling SRCR gene expression and the functional significance of this dynamic system await elucidation.

PubMed ID: 11069281
PMC ID: PMC27194
Article link: Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A
Grant support: [+]

Genes referenced: LOC100887844 LOC105447534 LOC583082

References [+] :
Al-Sharif, Sea urchin coelomocytes specifically express a homologue of the complement component C3. 1998, Pubmed, Echinobase