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Characterization and functional analyses of a novel chicken CD8α variant X1 (CD8α1)

Truong, A. D., Ban, J., Park, B., Hong, Y. H., Lillehoj, H. S.
Journal of animal science 2016 v.94 no.7 pp. 2737-2751
chickens, cysteine, cytokines, enzyme activation, gene expression, gene expression regulation, genomics, glycosylation, immunomodulation, innate immunity, major histocompatibility complex, molecular cloning, non-specific protein-tyrosine kinase, phylogeny, promoter regions, protein structure, sequence homology, signal transduction, transactivators, transcription (genetics)
We provide the first description of cloning and of structural and functional analysis of a novel variant in the chicken cluster of differentiation 8 alpha (CD8a) family, termed the CD8α X1 (CD8α1) gene. Multiple alignments of CD8α1 with known CD8α and CD8β sequences of other species revealed relatively low conservation of AA residues involved in the specific and unique structural domains among CD8α genes. For example, cysteine residues that are involved in disulfide bonding to form the V domain are conserved. In contrast, the O-linked glycosylation sites (XPXX motif) are not found in the chicken CD8α1 sequence, and the A β strand and complementarity-determining region 1 and 2 sequences are poorly conserved between chicken CD8α1 and avian CD8α. Furthermore, the alignment showed that the transmembrane regions show relatively high sequence similarity, whereas the cytoplasmic regions show relatively low similarity, indicating poor conservation. Moreover, the motif (CXCP) that is thought to be responsible for binding the p56 lymphocyte cell kinase subunit (p56(lck)) is missing in the CD8α1 sequence. The chicken CD8α1 genomic structure is similar to that of chicken CD8α, but their protein structures differ. Phylogenetic analysis showed that chicken CD8α1 grouped with known avian CD8α sequences but was somewhat distantly related to the CD8α molecules of other species. Moreover, we analyzed the signal transduction and cytokine response to CD8α1 treatment to determine the specific biological functions of chicken CD8α1 in immune cells. The results showed that chicken CD8α1 is a key regulator of the expression of genes that are associated and cooperate with transcription factors in the major histocompatibility complex class I and II promoter regions and activates Janus kinase (JAK) 1/2, signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT), and suppressor of cytokine signaling (SOCS) 1 signaling-related genes. Immune cells that express functional CD8α1 induce proinflammatory cytokines as well as innate immune responses. Therefore, our data indicate that CD8α1 may have immunoregulatory activity by regulating the expression of proinflammatory or anti-inflammatory cytokines via its effect on immune cells.