Nomiyama, H., Osada, N., and Yoshie, O. (2013) Systematic classification of vertebrate chemokines based on conserved synteny and evolutionary history. Genes to cells : devoted to molecular & cellular mechanisms. 18(1):1-16.
The genes involved in host defences are known to undergo rapid evolution. Therefore, it is often difficult to assign orthologs in multigene families among various vertebrate species. Chemokines are a large family of small cytokines that orchestrate cell migration in health and disease. Herein, we have surveyed the genomes of 18 representative vertebrate species for chemokine genes and identified a total of 553 genes. We have determined their orthologous relationships and classified them in accordance with the current systematic chemokine nomenclature system. Our study reveals an interesting evolutionary history that gave origin and diversification to the vertebrate chemokine superfamily.