The gene encoding IgH δ has been found in all species of teleosts studied to date. However, catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) is the only species of fish in which a secretory form of IgD has been characterized, and it occurs through the use of a dedicated δ-secretory exon, which is absent from all other species examined. Our studies have revealed that rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) use a novel strategy for the generation of secreted IgD. The trout secretory δ transcript is produced via a run-on event in which the splice donor site at the end of the last constant domain exon (D7) is ignored and transcription continues until a stop codon is reached 33 nt downstream of the splice site, resulting in the production of an in-frame, 11-aa secretory tail at the end of the D7 domain. In silico analysis of several published IgD genes suggested that this unique splicing mechanism may also be used in other species of fish, reptiles, and amphibians. Alternative splicing of the secretory δ transcript resulted in two δ-H chains, which incorporated Cμ1 and variable domains. Secreted IgD was found in two heavily glycosylated isoforms, which are assembled as monomeric polypeptides associated with L chains. Secretory δ mRNA and IgD+ plasma cells were detected in all immune tissues at a lower frequency than secretory IgM. Our data demonstrate that secretory IgD is more prevalent and widespread across taxa than previously thought, and thus illustrate the potential that IgD may have a conserved role in immunity.
Additional publication details
Discovery and characterization of secretory IgD in rainbow trout: secretory IgD is produced through a novel splicing mechanism