T lymphocytes bearing the gamma/delta T cell receptor (TCR-gamma/delta) express a limited number of germline variable gene segments, generating receptor sequence diversity primarily through junctional mechanisms. To examine the role of V(D)J junctional sequences in antigen recognition by TCR-gamma/delta, we derived an alloreactive murine TCR-gamma/delta+ T cell line, LKD1, specific for the I-Ad class II major histocompatibility complex (MHC) molecule, and compared its receptor with that expressed by a previously characterized class II MHC alloreactive T cell line, LBK5, specific for I-Ek,b,s Ia molecules. Both LKD1 and LBK5 express receptors encoded by rearranged V gamma 1.2J gamma 2 and V delta 5D delta 2J delta 1 gene elements, differing in sequence only in the V(D)J junctional regions of the gamma and delta genes. These results demonstrate that junctionally encoded sequences corresponding to the putative third complementarity determining region can influence the antigen specificity of TCR-gamma/delta.

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