Cloning and sequencing of protein cDNA from harbor seal (Phoca vitulina) lymphocytes

Jennifer C C Neale, Thomas P. Kenny, M. Eric Gershwin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Protein kinases (PKs) play critical roles in signal transduction and activation of lymphocytes. The identification of PK genes provides a tool for understanding mechanisms of immunotoxic xenobiotics. As part of a larger study investigating persistent organic pollutants in the harbor seal and their possible immunomodulatory actions, we sequenced harbor seal cDNA fragments encoding PKs. The procedure, using degenerate primers based on conserved motifs of human protein tyrosine kinases (PTKs), successfully amplified nine phocid PK gene fragments with high homology to human and rodent orthologs. We identified eight PTKs and one dual (serine/threonine and tyrosine) kinase. Among these were several PKs important in early signaling events through the B- and T-cell receptors (FYN, LYN, ITK and SYK) and a MAP kinase involved in downstream signal transduction. V-FGR, RET and DDR2 were also expressed. Sequential activation of protein kinases ultimately induces gene transcription leading to the proliferation and differentiation of lymphocytes critical to adaptive immunity. PKs are potential targets of bioactive xenobiotics, including persistent organic pollutants of the marine environment; characterization of these molecules in the harbor seal provides a foundation for further research illuminating mechanisms of action of contaminants speculated to contribute to large-scale die-offs of marine mammals via immunosuppression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)157-163
Number of pages7
JournalClinical and Developmental Immunology
Volume11
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2004

Keywords

  • Harbor seal
  • Lymphocyte activation and differentiation
  • Phoca vitulina
  • Protein (tyrosine) kinase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Cell Biology
  • Developmental Biology

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