The cDNA and gene sequences of many mammalian cytokines and their receptors are known. However, corresponding information on avian cytokines is limited due to the lack of cross-species activity at the functional level or strong homology at the molecular level. To improve the efficiency of identifying cytokines and novel chicken genes, a directionally cloned cDNA library from T-cell-enriched activated chicken splenocytes was constructed, and the partial sequence of 5251 clones was obtained. Sequence clustering indicates that 2357 (42%) of the clones are present as a single copy, and 2961 are distinct clones, demonstrating the high level of complexity of this library. Comparisons of the sequence data with known DNA sequences in GenBank indicate that approximately 25% of the clones match known chicken genes, 39% have similarity to known genes in other species, and 11% had no match to any sequence in the database. Several previously uncharacterized chicken cytokines and their receptors were present in our library. This collection provides a useful database for cataloging genes expressed in T cells and a valuable resource for future investigations of gene expression in avian immunology. A chicken EST Web site (http://udgenome. ags.udel. edu/chickest/chick.htm) has been created to provide access to the data, and a set of unique sequences has been deposited with GenBank (Accession Nos. AI979741-AI982511). Our new Web site (http://www. chickest.udel.edu) will be active as of March 3, 2000, and will also provide keyword-searching capabilities for BLASTX and BLASTN hits of all our clones.
Copyright 2000 Academic Press.