Syntenic genomic loci on human chromosome 8 and mouse chromosome 15 (mChr15) code for LY6/Ly6 (lymphocyte Ag 6) family proteins. The 23 murine Ly6 family genes include eight genes that are flanked by the murine Ly6e and Ly6l genes and form an Ly6 subgroup referred to in this article as the Ly6a subfamily gene cluster. Ly6a, also known as Stem Cell Ag-1 and T cell–activating protein, is a member of the Ly6a subfamily ge cluster. No LY6 genes have been annotated within the syntenic LY6E to LY6L human locus. We report in this article on LY6S, a solitary human LY6 gene that is syntenic with the murine Ly6a subfamily gene cluster, and with which it shares a common ancestry. LY6S codes for the IFN-inducible GPI-linked LY6S-iso1 protein that contains only 9 of the 10 consensus LY6 cysteine residues and is most highly expressed in a nonclassical spleen cell population. Its expression leads to distinct shifts in patterns of gene expression, particularly of genes coding for inflammatory and immune response proteins, and LY6S-iso1–expressing cells show increased resistance to viral infection.
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