Department of Cell Genetics
Institute for Genetics - University of Cologne
Department Head: Prof. Dr. Jonathan C. Howard

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The family of p47 (IRG) GTPases

In view of the broad spectrum of important intracellular pathogens for which the p47 (IRG family) GTPases are essential resistance factors in mice, it is surprising that there have been no reports of p47 function in man. We show that the interferon-inducible p47 resistance system with all its complexity and as many as 20 functional genes in the mouse, is absent from the human species. Resistance to vacuolar pathogens in man and mouse must therefore be organised at least partially along different lines. The primate lineage has presumably lost an ancient function because the p47 system appears to be active in dogs as well as in mice and rats. Analysis of several fish genomes suggest that here too there is rapid gain and loss of p47 function, suggesting that this powerful resistance system brings with it significant costs. For more information about evolution of p47 GTPases please see Bekpen et al., 2005

IRG tree

Unrooted tree (p-distance based on neighbour-joining method) of nucleotide sequences of the G-domains of the 23 mouse Irg GTPases, including the two presumed pseudogenes Irga5 and Irgb7. Already published names of the p47 GTPases are indicated in green color.

The following link directs you to a database of p47 (IRG) GTPases. Use the search option to find individual members of the p47 GTPases. If there are any problems, we will be happy to solve them so please feel free to report C. Bekpen.

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