Cancer Institute A national cancer institute
designated cancer center

Yueh-hsiu Chien

Publication Details

  • THE ADULT T-CELL RECEPTOR DELTA-CHAIN IS DIVERSE AND DISTINCT FROM THAT OF FETAL THYMOCYTES NATURE ELLIOTT, J. F., ROCK, E. P., PATTEN, P. A., DAVIS, M. M., Chien, Y. H. 1988; 331 (6157): 627-631

    Abstract:

    T lymphocytes recognize foreign molecules using the T-cell receptor (TCR), a disulphide-linked heterodimer closely associated with the CD3 polypeptide complex on the cell surface. The TCR alpha beta heterodimers seem largely responsible for the recognition properties of both helper (TH) and cytotoxic (TC) T cells. Recently, a second CD3-associated T-cell receptor heterodimer, gamma delta, has been described. Cells bearing the gamma delta receptor appear before those bearing alpha beta during thymic ontogeny and persist as a minor component (1-10%) of mature peripheral T cells. Their function is unknown. As there are a limited number of functional TCR V gamma gene segments, the size and potential diversity of the V delta repertoire is important for the number of different antigens that may be recognized by gamma delta heterodimers. The delta-chain locus is located 75 kilobases (kb) 5' to the TCR C alpha coding region, raising the possibility that the alpha and delta V-region repertoires may overlap. Also, analysis of rearrangements at the delta-chain locus in developing thymocytes shows distinct fetal and adult patterns indicating that there may be differences between the fetal and adult V delta repertoires. To address these questions, we have characterized a large number of delta-containing complementary DNA clones from adult double-negative thymocytes (CD4-8-), an immature population that is enriched for gamma delta-bearing cells. We find that a limited number of V delta sequences are used, showing little overlap with known adult V alpha s and differing significantly from fetal V delta s. But as two D elements may participate simultaneously in V delta gene assembly, and random nucleotides may be added at any one of three junctional points, the potential number of different delta chains that can be made in the adult thymus is very large (approximately 10(13)).

    View details for Web of Science ID A1988M118000061

    View details for PubMedID 2963227

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