Zhao Y, Pan-Hammarström Q, Yu S, Wertz N, Zhang X, Li N, Butler JE, Hammarström L.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2006 Aug 8;103(32):12087-92. Epub 2006 Jul 28.
State Key Laboratory for AgroBiotechnology, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100094, People's Republic of China. email@example.com
Only three Ig isotypes, IgM, IgX, and IgY, were previously known in amphibians. Here, we describe a heavy-chain isotype in Xenopus tropicalis, IgF (encoded by C(phi)), with only two constant region domains. IgF is similar to amphibian IgY in sequence, but the gene contains a hinge exon, making it the earliest example, in evolution, of an Ig isotype with a separately encoded genetic hinge. We also characterized a gene for the heavy chain of IgD, located immediately 3' of C(mu), that shares features with the C(delta) gene in fish and mammals. The latter gene contains eight constant-region-encoding exons and, unlike the chimeric splicing of muC(H)1 onto the IgD heavy chain in teleost fish, it is expressed as a unique IgD heavy chain. The IgH locus of X. tropicalis shows a 5' V(H)-D(H)-J(H)-C(mu)-C(delta)-C(chi)-C(upsilon)-C(phi) 3' organization, suggesting that the mammalian and amphibian Ig heavy-chain loci share a common ancestor.