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It has been speculated that before vertebrates evolved somatic diversity-based adaptive immunity, the germline-encoded diversity of innate immunity may have been more developed. Amphioxus occupies the basal position of the chordate phylum and hence is an important reference to the evolution of vertebrate immunity. Here we report the first comprehensive(More)
NF-κB transcription factors play important roles in immune responses and the development of the immune system. Many aspects of NF-κB signaling differ significantly among distinct species, although many similarities in signaling exist in flies and humans. Thus, to understand the functional refinement of the NF-κB cascade from invertebrates to vertebrates,(More)
To investigate the evolution and immune function of C-type lectin in amphioxus, the primitive representative of the chordate phylum, we identified three C-type lectins consisting solely of a carbohydrate recognition domain and N-terminal signal peptide and found that they had distinct express patterns in special tissues and immune response to stimulations(More)
The TNF-associated factor (TRAF) family, the crucial adaptor group in innate immune signaling, increased to 24 in amphioxus, the oldest lineage of the Chordata. To address how these expanded molecules evolved to adapt to the changing TRAF mediated signaling pathways, here we conducted genomic and functional comparisons of four distinct amphioxus TRAF groups(More)
Vertebrates diverged from other chordates ~500 Myr ago and experienced successful innovations and adaptations, but the genomic basis underlying vertebrate origins are not fully understood. Here we suggest, through comparison with multiple lancelet (amphioxus) genomes, that ancient vertebrates experienced high rates of protein evolution, genome rearrangement(More)
Among five Toll/IL-1R resistance adaptors, sterile alpha and Toll/IL-1R resistance motif containing protein (SARM) is the only one conserved from Caenorhabditis elegans to human. However, its physiologic roles are hardly understood, and its involvement in TLR signaling remains debatable. In this study, we first demonstrated a predominant expression of(More)
C1q is the target recognition protein of the classical complement pathway and a major connecting link between innate and adaptive immunities. Its globular signature domain is also found in a variety of noncomplement protein that can be grouped together as a C1q family. In this study, we have cloned and identified a novel C1q family member in cephalochordate(More)
In the basal chordate amphioxus (Branchiostoma), somites extend the full length of the body. The anteriormost somites segment during the gastrula and neurula stages from dorsolateral grooves of the archenteron. The remaining ones pinch off, one at a time, from the tail bud. These posterior somites appear to be homologous to those of vertebrates, even though(More)
Co-option of RAG1 and RAG2 for antigen receptor gene assembly by V(D)J recombination was a crucial event in the evolution of jawed vertebrate adaptive immunity. RAG1/2 are proposed to have arisen from a transposable element, but definitive evidence for this is lacking. Here, we report the discovery of ProtoRAG, a DNA transposon family from lancelets, the(More)
BACKGROUND The caspase family, which plays a central role in apoptosis in metazoans, has undergone an expansion in amphioxus, increasing to 45 members through domain recombination and shuffling. RESULTS In order to shed light on the conservation and uniqueness of this family in amphioxus, we cloned three representative caspase genes, designated as(More)