The murine Ly6 complex was identified 35 years ago using antisera to lymphocytes. With advances in mAb development, molecular cloning, and genome sequencing, >20 structurally related genes have been identified within this complex on chromosome 15. All members of the Ly6 family and their human homologues share the highly conserved LU domain and most also possess a GPI anchor. Interestingly, many Ly6 proteins are expressed in a lineage-specific fashion, and their expression often correlates with stages of differentiation. As a result, Ly6 proteins are frequently used as surface markers for leukocyte subset identification and targets for antibody-mediated depletion. Murine neutrophils display prominent surface expression of several Ly6 proteins, including Ly6B, Ly6C, and Ly6G. Although the physiology of most Ly6 proteins is not well understood, a role in neutrophil functions, such as migration, is recognized increasingly. In this review, we will provide an overview of the Ly6 complex and discuss, in detail, the specific Ly6 proteins implicated in neutrophil biology.
Keywords: Ly6B; Ly6C; Ly6G; uPAR domain.