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Cell. 1992 Jan 10;68(1):83-95.

The T cell receptor/CD3 complex is composed of at least two autonomous transduction modules.

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Centre d'Immunologie, INSERM-CNRS de Marseille-Luminy, France.


Recent studies have demonstrated that the CD3-zeta subunit of the T cell antigen receptor (TCR) complex is involved in signal transduction. However, the function of the remaining invariant subunits, CD3-gamma, -delta, and epsilon, is still poorly understood. To examine their role in TCR function, we have constructed TCR/CD3 complexes devoid of functional zeta subunit and showed that they are still able to trigger the production of interleukin-2 in response to antigen or superantigen. These data, together with previous results, indicate that the TCR/CD3 complex is composed of at least two parallel transducing units, made of the gamma delta epsilon and zeta chains, respectively. Furthermore, the analysis of partially truncated zeta chains has led us to individualize a functional domain that may have constituted the building block of most of the transducing subunits associated with antigen receptors and some Fc receptors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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