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Summary

TLR8 mediates antiviral immunity by recognizing ssRNA viruses and triggers potent antiviral and antitumor immune responses. In this study, approximately 3.5 Kb nucleotide sequence data of caprine TLR8 gene were generated from one sample each of twelve different Indian goat breeds belonging to different geographical regions. Cloning and characterization of cDNA synthesized from RNA purified from goat spleen revealed TLR8 ORF to be of 3102 nucleotides long coding for 1033 amino acids similar to other ruminant species, that is sheep, buffalo and cattle. The sequence analysis at nucleotide level revealed goat TLR8 to be closer to buffalo sharing 99.6% homology, followed by cattle and sheep. Simple Modular Architecture Research Tool (SMART) used for the structural analysis of goat TLR8 showed the presence of 16 leucine-rich repeats (LRRs) along with single Toll/interleukin-1 receptor (TIR) domain. TIR domain when compared with other livestock species was found to be conserved in ruminant species goat, sheep, cattle and buffalo. The phylogenetic analysis also revealed grouping of all ruminant species together, goat being closer to buffalo followed by cattle and sheep. Total 4 polymorphic sites were observed in TLR8 gene of one specimen goat representing each of 12 different breeds studied, all of which were synonymous and present within the coding region. Of these 4 SNPs, two were in ectodomains, one in TIR domain and one was found to be present in transmembrane domain. PCR-RFLP genotyping of two of the SNPs indicated variations in allele frequencies among different goat breeds. The expression profiling in 13 tissues of goat showed maximum expression of TLR8 gene in kidney followed by spleen, lung and lymph node. Overall, our results indicate conservation of TLR8 gene among the ruminant species and low variation within Indian goat breeds.