Brief Communications Arising | Published:

TH2 and Treg candidate genes in elephant shark

Nature volume 511, pages E7E9 (10 July 2014) | Download Citation


Arising from B. Venkatesh et al. Nature 505, 174–179 10.1038/nature12826 (2014)

Recently in this journal, Venkatesh and co-workers published their analysis of the elephant shark (Callorhinchus milii, a chimaera) genome sequence1. Their analyses suggested that at the evolutionary level of cartilaginous fish, only a primordial T-helper-cell (TH-cell) system was established, geared towards a TH1-type response, because they could not find several important candidate genes, or gene features, necessary for other types of TH cells. However, in contrast to Venkatesh and co-workers, I am able to find elephant shark candidate genes for interleukin-2 (IL-2), IL-4, IL-5 and IL-13, which have important roles in mammalian TH2 and T-regulatory-cell (Treg-cell) systems; furthermore, I feel that claims by the authors of absent CD4 and FOXP3 functions in cartilaginous fish are insufficiently substantiated. Therefore, I believe that major conclusions by the authors regarding proposed unique features of the T-cell system in the elephant shark are based on false arguments, or, as in the case of their CD4 model, are premature. There is a Reply to this Brief Communication Arising by Venkatesh, B. et al. Nature   511, (2014).

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Author information


  1. Institute for Comprehensive Medical Science, Fujita Health University, Dengaku-gakubo 1-98, 470-1192 Toyoake, Aichi, Japan

    • Johannes M. Dijkstra


  1. Search for Johannes M. Dijkstra in:

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Correspondence to Johannes M. Dijkstra.

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