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Hum Cell. 1990 Oct;3(3):183-92.

[T cell antigen receptor--structure, expression and function].

[Article in Japanese]

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  • 1Division of Molecular Genetics, School of Medicine, Chiba University, Japan.


T cell receptor complex is composed of at least 7 different polypeptides and is one of the most sophisticated receptor. There are two types of T cell receptor (TCR); alpha beta and gamma delta, both of which are composed of a heterodimer and associated with invariant CD3 complexes on the cell surface. T cells expressing alpha beta dimer recognize antigen-peptides in the context of self-MHC molecules, whereas the specificity and function of gamma delta T cells are largely unknown. Gene organization of alpha beta and gamma delta indicates the difference of mechanism to generate diversity. Whereas alpha and beta genes have a large number of V genes, those of gamma and delta genes are limited. However, especially for delta gene, the repertoire is largely produced by junctional diversity. There are increasing data showing new TCR heterodimers; such as beta delta heterodimer in human, beta homodimer in mouse and unknown new heterodimer in chicken, which are expressed on the cell surface in the association with CD3 complex. The characterization of these new receptor dimers and the function of cells expressing these receptors have to be determined. Among CD3 complex, zeta and eta chains are most important for signal transduction after antigen-recognition by TCR. eta gene is recently cloned and now found to be produced by an alternative splicing of a common gene with zeta chains gene. Tyrosine++ phosphorylation of zeta chain seems to be one of the earliest events of T cell activation. Since fyn, one of src oncogene family possessing tyrosine++ kinase function, is co-precipitated with TCR-CD3 complex, fyn seems to be involved in early phosphorylation for T cell activation. Positive and negative selection of thymocytes has been shown to occur via TCR using TCR-transgenic mice model. Molecular mechanism of the selection should be determined.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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