Four primordial immunoglobulin light chain isotypes, including lambda and kappa, identified in the most primitive living jawed vertebrates.

Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA.
European Journal of Immunology (Impact Factor: 4.97). 11/2007; 37(10):2683-94. DOI: 10.1002/eji.200737263
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The discovery of a fourth immunoglobulin (Ig) light (L) chain isotype in sharks has revealed the origins and natural history of all vertebrate L chains. Phylogenetic comparisons have established orthology between this new shark L chain and the unique Xenopus L chain isotype sigma. More importantly, inclusion of this new L chain family in phylogenetic analyses showed that all vertebrate L chains can be categorized into four ancestral clans originating prior to the emergence of cartilaginous fish: one restricted to elasmobranchs (sigma-cart/type I), one found in all cold-blooded vertebrates (sigma/teleost type 2/elasmobranch type IV), one in all groups except bony fish (lambda/elasmobranch type II), and one in all groups except birds (kappa/elasmobranch type III/teleost type 1 and 3). All four of these primordial L chain isotypes (sigma, sigma-cart, lambda and kappa) have maintained separate V region identities since their emergence at least 450 million years ago, suggestive of an ancient physiological distinction of the L chains. We suggest that, based upon unique, discrete sizes of complementarity determining regions 1 and 2 and other features of the V region sequences, the different L chain isotypes arose to provide different functional conformations in the Ig binding site when they pair with heavy chains.

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