Figure 4.11. The germline organization of the human T-cell receptor α and β loci.

Figure 4.11The germline organization of the human T-cell receptor α and β loci

The arrangement of the gene segments resembles that at the immunoglobulin loci, with separate variable (V), diversity (D), joining (J) gene segments, and constant (C) genes. The TCRα locus (chromosome 14) consists of 70–80 Vα gene segments, each preceded by an exon encoding the leader sequence (L). How many of these Vα gene segments are functional is not known exactly. A cluster of 61 Jα gene segments is located a considerable distance from the Vα gene segments. The Jα gene segments are followed by a single C gene, which contains separate exons for the constant and hinge domains and a single exon encoding the transmembrane and cytoplasmic regions (not shown). The TCRβ locus (chromosome 7) has a different organization, with a cluster of 52 functional Vβ gene segments located distantly from two separate clusters each containing a single D gene segment, together with six or seven J gene segments and a single C gene. Each TCRβ C gene has separate exons encoding the constant domain, the hinge, the transmembrane region, and the cytoplasmic region (not shown). The TCRα locus is interrupted between the J and V gene segments by another T-cell receptor locus—the TCRδ locus (not shown here; see Fig. 4.15).

From: T-cell receptor gene rearrangement

Cover of Immunobiology
Immunobiology: The Immune System in Health and Disease. 5th edition.
Janeway CA Jr, Travers P, Walport M, et al.
New York: Garland Science; 2001.
Copyright © 2001, Garland Science.

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