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Molecular characterisation of Interleukin-2 in two Australian marsupials (the tammar wallaby, Notamacropus eugenii, and the Tasmanian devil, Sarcophilus harrisii) facilitates the development of marsupial-specific immunological reagents

journal contribution
posted on 20.05.2020, 00:00 by Lauren YoungLauren Young, J Gurr, K Morris, Sabine FlenadySabine Flenady, K Belov
Interleukin-2 (IL-2) is an important regulator of cellular immunity in mammals. For many years, our inability to identify the expression of this cytokine in marsupials hindered our capacity to progress studies in metatherian immunology. Here, we report the use of molecular techniques to characterise the IL-2 gene for the tammar wallaby (Notamacropus eugenii) and the Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii), which allowed the prediction of the structure and probable functions of the IL-2 proteins of these species. Deduced marsupial IL-2 proteins show considerable sequence identity to each other and to common brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula) IL-2 (≥65%) but shared only 35% (tammar wallaby) and 32% (Tasmanian devil) identity with human IL-2. This difference means that reagents used to study IL-2 in human and other eutherians are unlikely to cross-react with marsupials. As a key step in furthering our ability to study cellular immune responses in marsupials and, more specifically, the susceptibility of macropodoid marsupials to intracellular pathogens, a polyclonal antibody was designed for the detection and future investigation of tammar wallaby IL-2 protein expression. The molecular data and polyclonal antibody described herein will support our development of gene probes and immunological reagents that will aid studies of infection and disease in marsupials.

History

Volume

41

Issue

1

Start Page

39

End Page

48

Number of Pages

10

eISSN

1836-7402

ISSN

0310-0049

Publisher

CSIRO

Language

en

Peer Reviewed

Yes

Open Access

No

Acceptance Date

02/11/2017

External Author Affiliations

Western Sydney University; University of Sydney; University of Edinburgh, UK

Era Eligible

Yes

Journal

Australian Mammalogy

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