αβ T-Cell Receptor Repertoires Among Cytotoxic and Helper T Lymphocytes

  • David M. Kranz
  • Benjamin Tjoa


It has become clear, since the discovery of the genes that encode the a chain and the β chain of the T-cell receptor (TCR), that the potential repertoire of receptors that could be generated is quite large ( ~ 1018 by one estimate). Previous reviews have described the genetic mechanisms that generate such diversity (Kronenberg et al., 1986; Davis and Bjorkman, 1988). The mechanisms include the assorted use of different variable (V) region genes ( ~ 30Vβ and ~ 100Vα), diversity (D) gene segments (2 Dβ), and joining (J) gene segments (12 Jβ and ~ 50 Jα). Even greater diversity is generated in the CDR3 equivalent of immunoglobulins through the use of three mechanisms that operate at the junctions of the rearranged genes (i.e., VβDβ, DβJβ, and VαJα). These mechanisms involve the template-independent addition of nucleotides by the enzyme terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase, the variable deletion of bases from the coding ends of genes, and the use of palindromic nucleotides at the ends of full-length gene segments (Lafaille et al., 1989).


Major Histocompatibility Complex Gene Segment Major Histocompatibility Complex Molecule Mixed Lymphocyte Reaction Reticulum Cell Sarcoma 
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© Birkhäuser Boston 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • David M. Kranz
  • Benjamin Tjoa

There are no affiliations available

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