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Expressed sequence identification and characterization of the cDNA for Interleukin-4 from the mitogen-stimulated lymphoid tissue of a marsupial, Macropus eugenii
journal contributionposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by Lauren YoungLauren Young
Very few cytokines that are important to the understanding of T helper cell function are characterized in marsupials. Expression of a 645 bp cDNA product that codes for a predicted Interleukin-4 peptide of 157 amino acids was detected in the lymph node tissues of Macropus eugenii, the tammar wallaby. Using Rapid Amplification of cDNA Ends, both 5'-and 3'-untranslated regions were identified and a polyadenylation signal and three mRNA instability motifs associated with secreted cytokine molecules were also present. The translated cDNA sequence has a putative signal peptide of 24 amino acids, a predicted secondary structure that is consistent with the short-chain alpha-helical cytokine family and 82% conservation of residues associated with the Interleukin-4 family sequence motif. Comparisons of wallaby nucleotide and predicted peptide sequences with the coding domains of other vertebrate species demonstrate the diversity within this gene family; with nucleotide and amino acid identities of 74% and 59% with opossum, 52% and 32% with human and 38% and 19% with chicken homologues respectively. Despite these differences in sequence conservation,the putative Macropus eugenii Interleukin-4 mature peptide contains conserved structural motifs and predicted receptor-binding residues that suggest that it may retain functional properties associated with this important Th2 cytokine in other mammals.