24 human T cell receptor alpha chain messages have been examined by cDNA sequence analysis and Southern blot. The data indicate that there are approximately 40 alpha chain T cell receptor variable gene segments, which can be divided into 12 families. Comparison of the J gene segments from the cDNAs to previously determined germline J alpha sequences places the number of J alpha gene segments over 21, and indicates their number to be approximately 55. Identical nucleotide sequences in independent isolates of V alpha and J alpha gene segments indicate that hypermutation may not be a common mechanism for the expansion of diversity in these genes, and suggest that the major source of diversity within the alpha chain repertoire is a result of recombinational joinings between germline V alpha and J alpha sequences, combined with imprecise junctional joining. Analysis of the V regions of these alpha chain messages reveals the presence of three domains of hypervariability roughly analogous to the CDR1, CDR2, and CDR3 regions of immunoglobulin.
Sequences and repertoire of human T cell receptor alpha chain variable region genes in mature T lymphocytes.
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Y Yoshikai, N Kimura, B Toyonaga, T W Mak; Sequences and repertoire of human T cell receptor alpha chain variable region genes in mature T lymphocytes.. J Exp Med 1 July 1986; 164 (1): 90–103. doi: https://doi.org/10.1084/jem.164.1.90
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