A functional γ gene formed from known γ-gene segments is not necessary for antigen-specific responses of murine cytotoxic T lymphocytes

E. B. Reilly, David M Kranz, S. Tonegawa, H. N. Eisen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Structural similarities between surface immunoglobulins (s Ig) on B cells and antigen-specific receptors on T cells suggest that a T cell, like a B cell, should express only two immunoglobulin-like genes, one for each subunit of the disulphide-linked, heterodimeric, antigen-specific (αβ) T-cell receptor. However, cytotoxic T lymphocytes (Tc cells) and immature thymocytes also contain RNA transcripts of a third immunoglobulin-like gene, called γ (refs 1-4). A polypeptide corresponding to the γ gene has not yet been identified and the function of this gene remains an enigma. Judging from its nucleotide sequence, the rearranged γ gene is expected to encode an integral membrane polypeptide chain, and γ complementary DNAs from two cloned Tc cell lines have previously been found to have different sequences around the V-J (variable region-joining region) junction 1,2, suggesting that, in these cells, the γ-gene product is a clonally diverse surface structure that may form part of an as yet unidentified, antigen-specific receptor. To analyse further the extent of diversity of the γ-gene product, we have determined the partial sequences of 11 γ cDNA clones from three other cloned Tc cell lines, and report here that the sequences are indeed clonally diverse, but in all instances they are out-of-phase in the region of the V-J junction. This finding and the pattern of γ-gene rearrangements in these cell lines indicate that a polypeptide product of the previously reported γ gene, V2J2-C2, is not expressed in them and is, therefore, not necessary for the antigen-specific cytotoxic and proliferative responses of these mature T cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)878-880
Number of pages3
JournalNature
Volume321
Issue number6073
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 1986
Externally publishedYes

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Cytotoxic T-Lymphocytes
Antigens
Genes
B-Cell Antigen Receptors
Immunoglobulin Genes
T-Lymphocytes
Cell Line
Peptides
Complementary DNA
Antigen Receptors
Gene Rearrangement
Thymocytes
T-Cell Antigen Receptor
Disulfides
B-Lymphocytes
Clone Cells
RNA
Membranes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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A functional γ gene formed from known γ-gene segments is not necessary for antigen-specific responses of murine cytotoxic T lymphocytes. / Reilly, E. B.; Kranz, David M; Tonegawa, S.; Eisen, H. N.

In: Nature, Vol. 321, No. 6073, 01.12.1986, p. 878-880.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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