Members of the lymphocyte antigen-6 (Ly6)/urokinase-type plasminogen activator receptor (uPAR) superfamily of proteins are cysteine-rich proteins characterized by a distinct disulfide bridge pattern that creates the three-finger Ly6/uPAR (LU) domain. Although the Ly6/uPAR family proteins share a common structure, their expression patterns and functions vary. To date, 35 human and 61 mouse Ly6/uPAR family members have been identified. Based on their subcellular localization, these proteins are further classified as GPI-anchored on the cell membrane, or secreted. The genes encoding Ly6/uPAR family proteins are conserved across different species and are clustered in syntenic regions on human chromosomes 8, 19, 6 and 11, and mouse Chromosomes 15, 7, 17, and 9, respectively. Here, we review the human and mouse Ly6/uPAR family gene and protein structure and genomic organization, expression, functions, and evolution, and introduce new names for novel family members.
Keywords: LU domain; Ly6/uPAR family; Lymphocytes; Neutrophils; Three-finger domain; uPAR.