Variable Lymphocyte Receptors – Lamprey
The researchers at Benaroya Research Institute and University of Alabama at Birmingham have identified and isolated a panel of highly variable lymphocyte receptors in Lamprey, Petromyzon marinus. The panel is derived from functional receptors involved in adaptive immune response within Lamprey. These receptors are generated through somatic rearrangement resulting in diverse set of receptors, each with unique antigen specificities. These receptors are able to selectively bind various virus, bacterium, parasite, fungus, and toxins.
Petromyzon marinus, commonly known as sea lamprey, is a jawless vertebrate. It is the first non-jawed vertebrate identified to have an adaptive immune system with variable immune receptors analogous to T-lymphocyte receptors found in jawed vertebrates.
DNA sequences and corresponding amino acid sequences for a panel of variable lymphocyte receptors of lamprey are available.
The University of Alabama at Birmingham and Benaroya Research Institute has issued patents in the United States and Australia, and pending patent applications in several jurisdictions worldwide.
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