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Immunogenetics. 2010 Jan;62(1):23-9. doi: 10.1007/s00251-009-0407-6. Epub 2010 Jan 7.

Characterization of the zebrafish T cell receptor beta locus.

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Department of Pediatrics, Huntsman Cancer Institute, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, USA.


Zebrafish (Danio rerio) has become an increasingly important model for immunological study. Its immune system is remarkably similar to that of mammals and includes both the adaptive and innate branches. Zebrafish T cells express functional T cell receptors (TCR), and all four TCR loci are present within the genome. Using 5'-rapid amplification of cDNA ends, we cloned and sequenced zebrafish TCRbeta transcripts. TCRbeta VDJ coding joints demonstrate conservation of mechanisms used by other vertebrate species to increase junctional diversity. Using the sequences obtained, along with previously published data, we comprehensively annotated the zebrafish TCRbeta locus. Overall, organization of the locus resembles that seen in mammals. There are 51 V segments, a single D segment, 27 Jbeta1 segments, a single Jbeta2 segment, and two constant regions. This description of the zebrafish TCRbeta locus has the potential to enhance immunological research in zebrafish and further our understanding of mammalian TCR repertoire generation.

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