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Molecular identification and expression of Lyn tyrosine kinase isoforms in marsupials
Lyn is a tyrosine kinase molecule required for modulation of signalling cascades in cell populations including B lymphocytes of the mammalian immune system. We have characterised the coding domain of the marsupial lyn gene of two macropod marsupials; the Tammar Wallaby (Macropus eugenii) and the Bridled Nailtail Wallaby (Onychogalea fraenata) and show the co-expression of two Lyn isoforms in cells and tissues of these and three other marsupials (Brush-tail Possum, Trichosurus vulpecula; American Grey Short-tailed Opossum, Monodelphis domestica and Red-tailed Phascogale, Phascogale calura). The predicted Lyn proteins (LynA and LynB) were highly conserved across vertebrate species, with amino acid identities of 94% with their human orthologues and conservation of key tyrosine kinase motifs that suggests that marsupial Lyn most likely functions in cell signalling. Comparison of our cDNA data to annotations for Lyn transcripts (available through the Ensembl Genome Browser) for the Tammar Wallaby confirm splice sites for a number of exons in the wallaby transcript that are missing from the current annotation. This is the first report of the expression of kinase signalling molecules that influence immunity in metatherian mammals and provides key information to support ongoing studies of immune regulation in marsupials.