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Mar. Drugs, Volume 17, Issue 10 (October 2019)
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Cover Story (view full-size image) A growing body of evidence suggest that C1q-domain-containing (C1qDC) proteins are involved in the [...] Read more. A growing body of evidence suggest that C1q-domain-containing (C1qDC) proteins are involved in the recognition of microbe-associated molecular patterns in bivalve mollusks. These highly abundant secretory proteins act as lectin-like molecules and may trigger the activation of the proto-complement system. In this paper, we investigated the evolutionary mechanisms behind the massive lineage-specific gene family expansion that characterizes bivalves, whose genomes encode several hundred different C1qDc proteins. Our analyses revealed that the overwhelming majority of the 476 oyster C1qDC encoded by the genome of the Eastern oyster Crassostrea virginica are found in dense clusters of tandemly duplicated paralogs, suggesting that unequal crossing over events have played a primary role in the molecular diversification of these important pattern recognition receptors. View this paper.