, Volume 63, Issue 12, pp 835–845 | Cite as

Evolution of the IL17 receptor family in chordates: a new subfamily IL17REL

  • Baojun Wu
  • Meng Jin
  • Yi Zhang
  • Tiandi WeiEmail author
  • Zengliang BaiEmail author
Original Paper


The human interleukin 17 receptor (IL17R) family plays a critical role in inflammatory responses and contributes to the pathology of many autoimmune diseases. So far, five members, IL17RA to IL17RE, have been identified. Recently, some IL17R genes have been identified in non-mammalian species, such as zebrafish IL17RD; however, there are no reports on the evolutionary history of this complex gene family through comparative phylogenetic approaches. Here, we concentrated on the IL17R evolution in chordates. There are two IL17Rs in the genome of the basal chordate amphioxus: IL17RA and IL17RD. After two rounds of whole genome duplications, these two IL17R genes expanded into five early vertebrate IL17R genes, IL17RA to IL17RE. IL17RA and IL17RD are found in most vertebrates, whereas the other three, IL17RB, ILR17RC, and IL17RE, underwent some loss in vertebrates during evolution. Our sequence and structure analyses reveal functional similarities and distinctions between the different IL17Rs. Based on similarity searches for IL17R-like proteins within chordate sequences, a group of IL17RE-like (IL17REL) proteins were identified from mammalians to lower vertebrates. In silico and expression analyses on the novel IL17RELs showed that this group of receptors is highly conserved across species, indicating that IL17REL may represent a unique subfamily of IL17Rs.


Interleukin 17 receptor IL17REL Chordate Evolution 



We thank Hong Yu for the artwork and Dr. Jing Gong and Guang Li for scientific advice. This work was supported by the Chinese National ‘863’ Project under grant no. 2008AA092603 and the China Postdoctoral Science Foundation under grant no. 20110491591. The work conducted by the U.S. Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute is supported by the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy under contract no. DE-AC02-05CH11231.

Supplementary material

251_2011_554_MOESM1_ESM.doc (64 kb)
Supplemental Table 1 HMMER and BLAST search results for chordate IL17Rs against different databases (DOC 64 kb)
251_2011_554_Fig8_ESM.jpg (165 kb)
Supplemental Fig. 1

Schematic representation of positions of IL17REL ESTs relative to the predicted IL17REL proteins. NCBI EST accession numbers are listed at the top right. The start codon (ATG) and stop codon (TGA) are boxed (JPEG 165 kb)

251_2011_554_MOESM2_ESM.tif (796 kb)
High resolution image file (TIFF 795 kb)
251_2011_554_Fig9_ESM.jpg (7 kb)
Supplemental Fig. 2

Semi-quantitative RT-PCR analysis of IL17REL mRNA expression in different zebrafish tissues. Beta-actin mRNA amplification was used as an internal control and as a measure of RNA integrity. In intestine, Gi gills, Sk skin, Mu muscle (JPEG 6 kb)

251_2011_554_MOESM3_ESM.tif (78 kb)
High resolution image file (TIFF 77 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory of Developmental Immunology, School of Life ScienceShandong UniversityJinanChina
  2. 2.Shandong Provincial Key Laboratory of Animal Cells and Developmental Biology, School of Life ScienceShandong UniversityJinanChina
  3. 3.Department of Plastic SurgeryJinan Central Hospital of Shandong UniversityJinanChina
  4. 4.State Key Laboratory of Microbiological Technology, School of Life ScienceShandong UniversityJinanChina

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