, Volume 61, Issue 8, pp 581-596
Date: 17 Jul 2009

On the genomics of immunoglobulins in the gray, short-tailed opossum Monodelphis domestica

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Annotated maps of the IGH, IGK, and IGL loci in the gray, short-tailed opossum Monodelphis domestica were generated from analyses of the available whole genome sequence for this species. Analyses of their content and organization confirmed a number of previous conclusions based on characterization of complementary DNAs encoding opossum immunoglobulin heavy and light chains and limited genomic analysis, including (a) the predominance of a single immunoglobulin heavy chain variable region (IGHV) subgroup and clan, (b) the presence of a single immunoglobulin (Ig)G subclass, (c) the apparent absence of an IgD, and (d) the general organization and V gene complexity of the IGK and IGL light chain loci. In addition, several unexpected discoveries were made including the presence of a partial V to D, germline-joined IGHV segment, the first germline-joined Ig V gene to be found in a mammal. In addition was the presence of a larger number of IGKV subgroups than had been previously identified. With this report, annotated maps of the major histocompatibility complex, T-cell receptor, and immunoglobulin loci have been completed for M. domestica, the only non-eutherian mammalian species for which this has been accomplished, strengthening the utility of this species as a model organism.