, Volume 46, Issue 4, pp 276-282

Mechanisms for variability in a member of the scavenger-receptor cysteine-rich superfamily

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 This study reports a molecular analysis of pig WC1, a new member of the scavenger-receptor cysteine-rich (SRCR) superfamily. The pig WC1 contains up to six extra-cellular SRCR domains, highly homologous to other members of the family. However, the striking feature of the WC1 gene, as for its cattle and sheep homologues, is that it is present as a multigene family showing extensive sequence diversity, for both DNA and predicted protein sequence. The basis of this diversity was examined and was shown to be attributable to several different causes. These included single base-pair changes within SRCR domains, the optional usage of whole domains or exons, including a SRCR domain and the proximal “hinge” region, and alternative isoforms of the putative cytoplasmic tail. These results suggest that WC1 may code for a new, though more primitive type of antigen recognition structure specific for γ/δ T cells.