We have defined transcriptional enhancing sequences inside the TCR-delta gene locus, using transient transfections with constructs containing DNA fragments cloned upstream to a reporter gene fused to a heterologous promoter. A 14-kb DNA region extending from the J delta 3 segment to 6 kb 3' to C delta was analyzed. We show the presence of positive regulatory sequences inside the J delta 3-C delta intron and have localized these sequences to two DNA fragments of approximately 300 and 258 bp. Analysis of cell specificity of the activation of such sequences demonstrates a T cell pattern for one of the two fragments. The nucleotide sequence of the T cell-specific element shows motifs sharing homology with previously described core enhancers.

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