Expression of the T-cell-specific γ gene is unnecessary in T cells recognizing class II MHC determinants

J. S. Heilig, L. H. Glimcher, D. M. Kranz, L. K. Clayton, J. L. Greenstein, H. Saito, A. M. Maxam, S. J. Burakoff, H. N. Eisen, S. Tonegawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Subtractive complementary DNA cloning combined with partial protein sequencing has allowed identification of the genes encoding the α and β subunits of T-cell receptors1-7. The subtractive cDNA library prepared from the cytotoxic T lymphocyte (Tc) clone 2C has been found to contain a third type of clone encoding the γ chain5,8,9. The γ gene shares several features with the α and β genes: (1) Assembly from gene segments resembling immunoglobulin V, J and C (respectively variable, joining and constant region) DNA segments10; (2) rearrangement and expression in T cells and not in B cells8; (3) sequences reminiscent of transmembrane and intracytoplasmic regions of integral membrane proteins8; (4) a cysteine residue at the position expected for an interchain disulphide bond. The α and β genes are expressed at equivalent levels in both Tc cells and helper T cells (T H)4,5,9,11. The γ gene, obtained from 2C, has been found to be expressed in all Tc cells studied9. Here we present evidence that strongly suggests that TH cells do not require γ gene expression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)68-70
Number of pages3
Issue number6032
StatePublished - 1985
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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