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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1981 Jun;78(6):3814-8.

Expression of an antigen receptor on T cells does not require recombination at the immunoglobulin JH-C mu locus.


Considerable evidence has accumulated suggesting that the antigen receptor(s) on T cells is coded for by genes for the variable (V) region of the immunoglobulin heavy (H) chains. In B cells, a complete gene for the immunoglobulin VH region is formed by somatic recombination of VH and joining region heavy chain (JH) gene segments [through an intermediate diversity(D) region gene segment]. In an attempt to determine whether a complete immunoglobulin VH region is expressed on T cells that bear an antigen receptor, we analyzed the restriction map of the JH-C mu locus in genomic DNA from two cloned murine cytotoxic T-lymphocyte (CTL) lines specific for the x-ray-induced leukemia RL male 1. We found no rearrangement of the JH C mu locus in the CTL lines, indicating that the T-cell antigen receptor(s) in these CTLs is not coded for by a complete immunoglobulin VH gene formed by joining of VH, (DH), and JH genes. In addition, we determined that C mu genes on both chromosomes were present and that there was no rearrangement of the C alpha, C kappa, or lambda chain genes in these CTL cells.

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