By Frank J. Dixon (Editor)
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Extra info for Advances in Immunology, Vol. 44
Neither the CD8 a or p chain gene rearranges during differentiation. Considering the high level of identity between the CD8 J-like sequence and those involved in rearrangement, this lack of rearrangement in CD8 raises interesting evolutionary possibilities that will be discussed later. The CD8 a! and p genes are single copy, are located within a few kilobases of each other, and are closely linked to the x light chain locus (J. Parnes, personal communication). , 1986). Even though CD4 and CD8 molecules appear to perform analogous functions with homologous ligands, class I1 and class I MHC molecules, respectively, they do not appear to share a recent common origin.
The differential expression of alternately spliced products such as secreted versus membrane Ig and the developmentally expressed variants of N-CAM indicate that alternate RNA splicing provides a further level of functional diversity to the IgGSF. In fact, nearly all members examined to date generate alternate splicing products. Also, the kinase region of PDGFR and CSF-1R and the probable HA binding regions of link protein illustrate the construction of new gene products through the shuffling of exons encoding functionally discrete domains.
1985). , 1984). These values imply that MHC polymorphic regions are under relatively weak constraining pressures as to their exact protein sequence. Paradoxically, the absolute rate of evolutionary change between class I alleles and species homologs is actually less than that of most other genes analyzed, including the globins (Hayashida and Miyata, 1983). This might indicate that structural variation is sometimes less important in the effects it can have on the interaction between an allele and antigen or TcR per se, than in how concomitant variation in its specificities complement or fail to complement the collective specificities of the allelic population.