Immune-related, lectin-like receptors are differentially expressed in the myeloid and lymphoid lineages of zebrafish
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The identification of C-type lectin (Group V) natural killer (NK) cell receptors in bony fish has remained elusive. Analyses of the Fugu rubripes genome database failed to identify Group V C-type lectin domains (Zelensky and Gready, BMC Genomics 5:51, 2004) suggesting that bony fish, in general, may lack such receptors. Numerous Group II C-type lectin receptors, which are structurally similar to Group V (NK) receptors, have been characterized in bony fish. By searching the zebrafish genome database we have identified a multi-gene family of Group II immune-related, lectin-like receptors (illrs) whose members possess inhibiting and/or activating signaling motifs typical of Group V NK receptors. Illr genes are differentially expressed in the myeloid and lymphoid lineages, suggesting that they may play important roles in the immune functions of multiple hematopoietic cell lineages.