RAG genes in non-vertebrates

Ralph M Bernstein ralph at ccit.arizona.edu
Wed Aug 2 22:25:27 EST 1995

In Article <3vgb3a$jj4 at news.orst.edu>, chend at ucs.orst.edu (Don Chen) wrote:

>I recently attended a defense in which the RAG genes in rainbow trout
>were described. Does anyone know if these genes have been detected in
>non-vertebrate species? Also, if they have been found in
>non-vertebrates, and assuming that Ig-like molecules are NOT also
>detected, what would their function be in these species?

hi don.

    i assume that that was john's defense?  i hope that he did ok!  the
recombinase activating genes have only been found in the gnathastomes- the
jawed vertebrates.  just about every one that works on the phylogeny of the
immune system has looked for the RAGs in everything that has DNA.  i've
cloned a fragment of the RAG I gene from every major gnathastome branch, but
still cannot clone it from even the "highest" agnathastome, the cyclostome
    Ig like molecules are found in non-vertebrates, eg ncam, fasciculin,
something like amalgam (sp?) and some other genes.  also of some interest
was a cell paper from 1-2 years ago that described the similarities between
the toll/il 1 NFkB signalling pathways in drosophilia/ mice, and humans.
    a great guess would be that they are some viral product, that
site-specifically recognises a sequences and "recombines" them out.  some
recent data at the 9th internation congress of immunol showed that the RAGI
and II products ALONE are enough to recognise, bind to, and cleave RSS's. 
there is also a hint (thru some rag1/p53 kos' and rag2/p53 kos that the rag
I product is the rss recogniser.  
    other comments?
    regards, ralph

Ralph M. Bernstein
Dept of Micro/Immuno
University of Arizona
Ph: 602 626 2585
Fx: 602 626 2100
url: http://lamprey.medmicro.arizona.edu

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