Molecular Evolution and the Immunoglobulin Gene Superfamily

  • Leory Hood
  • Tim Hunkapiller


The immunoglobulin gene superfamily is a collection of multigene families and single gene members, all evolutionarily related through a shared immunoglobulin homology unit. The superfamily includes more than 100 different proteins with functions generally related to molecular cell-surface recognition, including immune recognition, grow factor receptors, cell adhesion molecules of nervous and nonnervous tissues, and extracellular matrix components. The gene superfamily probably arose with the evolution of Metazoa. It has provided fundamental insights into the genetic mechanisms responsible for rapid evolutionary changes.


Major Histocompatibility Complex Major Histocompatibility Complex Class Multigene Family Major Histocompatibility Complex Molecule Major Histocompatibility Complex Gene 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Tokyo 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leory Hood
    • 1
  • Tim Hunkapiller
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Biology, 139–74California Institute of TechnologyPasadenaUSA

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