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Advances in Medicine and Biology. Volume 124
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Immunoglobulins in Reptiles pp. 101-114 $100.00
Authors:  (Sabyasachi Das, Masayuki Hirano, Nikolas Nikolaidis, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Emory Vaccine Center, School of Medicine, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA, and others)
Abstract:
Immunoglobulins (antibodies) are the key components of the adaptive immune system in jawed vertebrates including elasmobranches, teleosts, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. The canonical immunoglobulin molecules are composed of two identical heavy chains and two identical light chains. Both the heavy and light chains consist of a variable domain and a constant region. Except reptiles, the structure and organization of immunoglobulin loci from different vertebrate classes are extensively investigated. In considering the great diversity of reptilian species, it is important to recognize the information regarding the structure of immunoglobulin loci and the development of immunoglobulin repertoire in reptiles. The recent description of the genomic organization of immunoglobulin heavy and light chain loci from the green anole lizard (Anolis carolinensis) has greatly facilitated our understanding about structural and functional characteristics of reptilian immunoglobulins as well as the evolutionary dynamics of immunoglobulin genes in tetrapods. In this chapter we summarize our current knowledge of the organization and expression of immunoglobulin isotypes in reptiles and also discuss the evolutionary genomics of reptilian immunoglobulin heavy and light chain multigene families as compared to their homologs in other vertebrates.
INTRODUCTION
The immune system is a complex network of molecules, cells, tissues, and organs that are directly involved in the defense of an organism against pathogens. In vertebrates, the immune system is traditionally classified into innate and adaptive immunity. The evolutionary origins of some molecules involved in the innate immunity are far more ancient than the rearranging 


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Immunoglobulins in Reptiles pp. 101-114