Li, R., Wang, T., Bird, S., Zou, J., Dooley, H., & Secombes, C. J. (2013). B cell receptor accessory molecule CD79α: Characterisation and expression analysis in a cartilaginous fish, the spiny dogfish (Squalus acanthias). Fish & Shellfish Immunology, 34(6), 1401-1415.
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/7470
CD79α (also known as Igα) is a component of the B cell antigen receptor complex and plays an important role in B cell signalling. The CD79α protein is present on the surface of B cells throughout their life cycle, and is absent on all other healthy cells, making it a highly reliable marker for B cells in mammals. In this study the spiny dogfish (Squalus acanthias) CD79α (SaCD79α) is described and its expression studied under constitutive and stimulated conditions. The spiny dogfish CD79α cDNA contains an open reading frame of 618 bp, encoding a protein of 205 amino acids. Comparison of the SaCD79α gene with that of other species shows that the gross structure (number of exons, exon/intron boundaries, etc.) is highly conserved across phylogeny. Additionally, analysis of the 5′ flanking region shows SaCD79α lacks a TATA box and possesses binding sites for multiple transcription factors implicated in its B cell-specific gene transcription in other species. Spiny dogfish CD79α is most highly expressed in immune tissues, such as spleen, epigonal and Leydig organ, and its transcript level significantly correlates with those of spiny dogfish immunoglobulin heavy chains. Additionally, CD79α transcription is up-regulated, to a small but significant degree, in peripheral blood cells following stimulation with pokeweed mitogen. These results strongly indicate that, as in mammals, spiny dogfish CD79α is expressed by shark B cells where it associates with surface-bound immunoglobulin to form a fully functional BCR, and thus may serve as a pan-B cell marker in future shark immunological studies.