Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

The extracellular Leucine-Rich Repeat superfamily; a comparative survey and analysis of evolutionary relationships and expression patterns

Jackie Dolan, Karen Walshe, Samantha Alsbury, Karsten Hokamp, Sean O'Keeffe, Tatsuya Okafuji, Suzanne FC Miller, Guy Tear and Kevin J Mitchell*

BMC Genomics 2007, 8:320  doi:10.1186/1471-2164-8-320

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Erroneous citation of Nilsson et al. regarding LRIG and kekkon relationships

H��kan Hedman   (2008-11-25 17:49)  Umeå University email

Dear Editor,

We would like to point out a mistake made by Dolan et al. [1] in their citation of our work. In their in many respects interesting and insightful article entitled, “The extracellular Leucine-Rich superfamily; a comparative survey and analysis of evolutionary relationships and expression patterns”, the authors wrongly accuses us of having made an incorrect statement in our previous work [2].

Thus, under the heading "Clustering of known proteins" (page 10 of 24), the authors state that, "Also, the Lrig proteins of mammals are orthologous not to kekkon proteins in the fly, as has been suggested previously [76], but to the lambik protein in flies (and T21D12.9 in worms)".

We agree with Dolan et al. about the evolutionary relationships between the mammalian Lrig proteins and the fly kekkon and lambik proteins. However, nowhere in ref. 76 [2] do we (erroneously) suggest that the mammalian Lrig proteins are orthologues of the fly kekkon proteins. Rather, what is written in our article is that human LIG1 (now named LRIG1) is the homologue (i.e., the orthologue) of mouse Lig-1 (now named Lrig1) and Lig-1 shows homologies to Kekkon-1. This is all supported by available sequence information and current definitions of evolutionary homology (for a discussion about the concept of protein homology, see for example [3]). The evolutionary relationships within the LRIG family have also been further elucidated by us [4, 5].

It is our hope that this Comment will help to prevent further spreading of an apparent misconception about our work.


Jonas Nilsson, Irina Golovleva, Bengt Hallberg, Roger Henriksson, and Håkan Hedman


1. Dolan J, Walshe K, Alsbury S, Hokamp K, O'Keeffe S, Okafuji T, Miller SF, Tear G, Mitchell KJ. The extracellular leucine-rich repeat superfamily; a comparative survey and analysis of evolutionary relationships and expression patterns. BMC Genomics. 2007. 8:320.

2. Nilsson J, Vallbo C, Guo D, Golovleva I, Hallberg B, Henriksson R, Hedman H. Cloning, characterization, and expression of human LIG1. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2001. 284:1155.

3. Gogarten JP, Olendzenski L. Orthologs, paralogs and genome comparisons. Curr Opin Genet Dev. 1999. 9:630.

4. Holmlund C, Nilsson J, Guo D, Starefeldt A, Golovleva I, Henriksson R, Hedman H. Characterization and tissue-specific expression of human LRIG2. Gene. 2004. 332:35.

5. Guo D, Holmlund C,Henriksson R, Hedman H. The LRIG gene family has three vertebrate paralogs widely expressed in human and mouse tissues, and a homolog in Ascidiacea. Genomics. 2004. 84:157.

Competing interests

No competing interest.


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