, Volume 59, Issue 6, pp 493-506
Date: 14 Mar 2007

Species-specific evolution of the FcR family in endothermic vertebrates

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


In primates and rodents, the extended FcR family is comprised of three subsets: classical FcRs, structurally diverse cell surface receptors currently designated FCRL1–FCRL6, and intracellular proteins FCRLA and FCRLB. Using bioinformatic analysis, we revealed the FcR-like genes of the same three subsets in the genome of dog, another representative of placental mammals, and in the genome of short-tailed opossum, a representative of marsupials. In contrast, a single FcR-like gene was found in the current version of the chicken genome. This in silico finding was confirmed by the gene cloning and subsequent Southern blot hybridization. The chicken FCRL gene encodes a cell surface receptor with the extracellular region composed of four Ig-like domains of the D1-, D2-, D3-, and D4-subtypes. The gene is expressed in lymphoid and non-lymphoid tissues. Phylogenetic analysis of the mammalian and chicken genes suggested that classical FcRs, FCRLA, and FCRLB emerged after the mammalian–avian split but before the eutherian–marsupial radiation. The data obtained show that the repertoire of the classical FcRs and surface FcR-like proteins in mammalian species was shaped by an extensive recombination process, which resulted in domain shuffling and species-specific gain and loss of distinct exons or entire genes.