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Nature. 1984 Dec 20-1985 Jan 2;312(5996):771-5.

Primary structure of human T-cell receptor alpha-chain.


The T-cell receptor has been studied intensely over the past 10 years in an effort to understand the molecular basis for major histocompatibility complex (MHC) restricted antigen recognition. The use of anti-receptor monoclonal antibodies to isolate and characterize the receptor from human and murine T-cell clones has shown that the protein consists of two disulphide-linked glycopeptides, alpha and beta, distinct from known immunoglobulin light and heavy chains. Like immunoglobulin light and heavy chains, however, both the alpha- and beta-chains are composed of variable and constant regions. Molecular cloning has revealed that the beta-chain is evolutionarily related to immunoglobulins, and is encoded in separate V (variable), D (diversity), J (joining) and C (constant) segments that are rearranged in T cells to produce a functional gene. We report here cDNA clones encoding the alpha-chain of the receptor of the human T-cell leukaemia line HPB-MLT. Using these cDNA probes, we find that expression of alpha-chain mRNA and rearrangement of an alpha-chain V-gene segment occur only in T cells. The protein sequence predicted by these cDNAs is homologous to T-cell receptor beta-chains and to immunoglobulin heavy and light chains, particularly in the V and J segments.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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