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Mol Immunol. 2009 Mar;46(6):1212-21. doi: 10.1016/j.molimm.2008.11.010. Epub 2009 Jan 6.

Genomic sequence encoding diversity segments of the pig TCR delta chain gene demonstrates productivity of highly diversified repertoire.

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Division of Animal Sciences, National Institute of Agrobiological Sciences, 2-1-2 Kannondai, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8602, Japan.


To better understand the function and diversity of gammadelta T cells, we determined the genomic sequence encoding diversity (D) segments of the porcine TCR delta chain and its upstream regions, because pigs and other artiodactyls have relatively high proportions of gammadelta T cells. The revealed sequence contained 28 variable (V) alpha/delta segments, including 4 TRDV1 and at least 6 Ddelta segments, a much higher number than in humans and mice. All 6 of the Ddelta segments that had canonical recombination signal sequences were functionally utilized in expressed TCR delta chain genes. The multiplicity of Ddelta segments enabled the use of more than 3 Ddelta segments in a single functional TCR delta chain. The increased number of TCR delta segments was acquired by the duplication of the germline sequence, which occurred after the divergence of artiodactyls from primates and rodents. These data demonstrate that the pig is able to generate a highly diversified repertoire of TCR delta chain molecules.

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