Evolutionary origin of mysterious immune system molecule in humans revealed

Biological systems can behave as siblings in several ways, including by borrowing something and never giving it back. That appears to be what the human immune system did with a protein that now helps bind and regulate the subunits that make up antibodies, according to a multi-institute research collaboration. They found that, before the immune system evolutionarily co-opted it, the protein originally belonged to gene family responsible for directing cells to move to the right location at the right time to address specific functional needs.

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