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Eur J Immunol. 1997 Jun;27(6):1576-9.

Lack of directed V alpha 14-J alpha 281 rearrangements in NK1+ T cells.

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Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, University of Lausanne, Epalinges, Switzerland.


NK1.1+ T cells are an unusual subset of TCR alpha beta cells distinguished by their highly restricted V beta repertoire and predominant usage of an invariant V alpha 14-J alpha 281 chain. To assess whether a directed rearrangement mechanism could be responsible for this invariant alpha chain, we have analyzed V alpha 14 rearrangements by polymerase chain reaction and Southern blot in a panel of cloned T-T hybrids derived from thymic NK1.1+ T cells. As expected a high proportion (17/20) of the hybrids had rearranged V alpha 14 to J alpha 281. However, V alpha 14-J alpha 281 rearrangements always occurred on only one chromosome and were accompanied by other V alpha-J alpha rearrangements (not involving V alpha 14) on the homologous chromosome. These data argue that rigorous ligand selection rather than directed rearrangement is responsible for the high frequency of V alpha 14-J alpha 281 rearrangements in NK1.1+ T cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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