Sequences and repertoire of the human T cell receptor α and β chain variable region genes in thymocytes

Nobuhiro Kimura, Barry Toyonaga, Yasunobu Yoshikai, Ran‐Pan ‐P Du, Tak W. Mak

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    215 Citations (Scopus)


    To compare and contrast the human T cell antigen receptor (TcR) α and β chain messages found in human thymocytes to those previously isolated from human peripheral blood T lymphocytes and other nonthymic sources, 13 TcR α and 13 TcR β cDNA were isolated from a human thymocyte library and the nucleotide sequences were determined. The data indicate that, as was found in the peripheral T lymphocytes, the majority of the TcR α and TcRβ chain thymocyte cDNA were derived from potentially functional messages. Although the thymocyte‐derived TcR cDNA do not contain any unique structural features when compared to TcR cDNA from mature T lymphocytes, 4 new Jα segments, 17 new V‐gene segments (9 Vα; 8 Vβ) and 7 additional V‐gene families (4 Vα and 3 Vβ) and sequences had been identified. The exon CβO, found in many murine thymocyte TcR β messages, was not found in over 75 human β chain messages. Based on these new data, a revised estimate of human TcR Vα, Jα and Vβ repertoires is calculated. The most significant change has been the increase in the estimated number of human TcR Vβ‐gene segments to a total of about 100 distributed among about 18 families. The Vα families are now revised upward to 16, with a total number of Vα segments of 50. The estimate of the Jα segments in humans remains between 50–100.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)375-383
    Number of pages9
    JournalEuropean Journal of Immunology
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 1987

    All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

    • Immunology and Allergy
    • Immunology


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