, Volume 57, Issue 3–4, pp 254–266

Artiodactyl emergence is accompanied by the birth of an extensive pool of diverse germline TRDV1 genes

  • R. Antonacci
  • C. Lanave
  • L. Del Faro
  • G. Vaccarelli
  • S. Ciccarese
  • S. Massari
Original Paper


Molecular cloning of cDNA from γ/δ T cells has shown that in sheep, the variable domain of the δ chain is chiefly determined by the expression of the TRDV1 subgroup, apparently composed of a large number of genes. There are three other TRDV subgroups, but these include only one gene each. To evaluate the extent and the complexity of the genomic TRDV repertoire, we screened a sheep liver genomic library from a single individual of the Altamurana breed and sheep fibroblast genomic DNA from a single individual of the Gentile di Puglia breed. We identified a total of 22 TRDV1 genes and the TRDV4 gene. A sequence comparison between germline and the rearranged genes indicates that, in sheep, the TRDV repertoire is generated by the VDJ rearrangement of at least 40 distinct TRDV1 genes. All germline TRDV1 genes present a high degree of similarity in their coding as well as in 5′ and 3′ flanking regions. However, a systematic analysis of the translation products reveals that these genes present a broadly different and specific repertoire in the complementarity-determining regions or recognition loops, allowing us to organize the TRDV genes into sets. We assume that selection processes operating at the level of ligand recognition have shaped the sheep TRDV germline repertoire. A phylogenetic study based on a sequence analysis of the TRDV genes from different mammalian species shows that the diversification level of these genes is higher in artiodactyl species compared to humans and mice.


T-cell receptor TRDV genes Sheep Evolution Artiodactyl 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Antonacci
    • 1
  • C. Lanave
    • 2
  • L. Del Faro
    • 1
  • G. Vaccarelli
    • 1
  • S. Ciccarese
    • 1
  • S. Massari
    • 3
  1. 1.Dipartimento di Anatomia Patologica e di GeneticaUniversity of BariBariItaly
  2. 2.Istituto di Tecnologie Biomediche Sezione di BariCNRMilanItaly
  3. 3.Dipartimento di Scienze e Tecnologie Biologiche ed AmbientaliUniversity of LecceLecceItaly

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