The macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) is a cytokine produced by T lymphocytes and macrophages in response to inflammatory stimuli. We sequenced MIF cDNA clones of two jawless fishes, the sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) and the North Atlantic hagfish (Myxine glutinosa), as well as of the jawed (cichlid) fish Paralabidochromis chilotes. The fish MIF-encoding genes have the same exon-intron organization as the mammalian MIF genes and are present in one copy per haploid genome. Secondary and tertiary structure predictions suggest that the fish MIF proteins have a topology characteristic of the entire MIF-family of proteins. Phylogenetic analysis separates the known nematode members of the family into two groups, one having a sister group relationship with the mammalian D-dopachrome tautomerase (DDT) proteins and the other being related to vertebrate MIFs. It also reveals a high degree of convergent evolution among the members of the family. Finally, it suggests that the divergence of MIF and DDT occurred before the emergence of nematodes in metazoan evolution.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Developmental Biology