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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)
A big bang expansion of the Vertebrate-type (V-type) TLRs was reported in amphioxus. To shed lights on its implications, a unique TLR which is reversely inserted into an intron of amphioxus PSMB7-10 by retrotransposition in the highly polymorphic proto-MHC region was cloned from Chinese amphioxus (Branchiostoma belcheri tsingtauense) and named as bbtTLR1.(More)
In animals, the tetraspanins are a large superfamily of membrane proteins that play important roles in organizing various cell-cell and matrix-cell interactions and signal pathways based on such interactions. However, their origin and evolution largely remain elusive and most of the family's members are functionally unknown or less known due to difficulties(More)
Tandem 3' untranslated regions (UTRs), produced by alternative polyadenylation (APA) in the terminal exon of a gene, could have critical roles in regulating gene networks. Here we profiled tandem poly(A) events on a genome-wide scale during the embryonic development of zebrafish (Danio rerio) using a recently developed SAPAS method. We showed that 43% of(More)
Early studies have shown that single-nucleotide mutation rates increase close to insertions and deletions, but it is not fully understood how natural selection shapes genome-wide patterns of indels and their nearby single-nucleotide mutations. In this study, we find that, in primates, more single-nucleotide mutations surround small insertions than small(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)
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)
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)
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)
In seeking evidence of the existence of adaptive immune system (AIS) in ancient chordate, cDNA clones of six libraries from a protochordate, the Chinese amphioxus, were sequenced. Although the key molecules such as TCR, MHC, Ig, and RAG in AIS have not been identified from our database, we demonstrated in this study the extensive molecular evidence for the(More)