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A Possible Basis for Major Histocompatibility Complex-Restricted T-Cell Recognition

Davis, M. M. and Chien, Yueh-Hsiu and Bjorkman, Pamela J. and Elliott, J. F. and Iwashima, M. and Rock, E. P. and Patten, P. A. (1989) A Possible Basis for Major Histocompatibility Complex-Restricted T-Cell Recognition. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences, 323 (1217). pp. 521-524. ISSN 0962-8436. doi:10.1098/rstb.1989.0030.

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Four distinct T-cell antigen-receptor gene loci have now been identified and partly characterized: ɑ, β, y and δ. All of these loci can rearrange in an immunoglobulin- like fashion and express polypeptides that contribute to either ɑ:β or y:δ T-cell receptor-CD3 complexes. Surprisingly, the T-cell receptor (TCR) δ coding regions are located entirely, or almost entirely, within the TCR ɑ locus and share at least some of the V region gene segments, thus at least partly linking the two different types of receptor heterodimers. Analysis of potential T-cell receptor diversity, particularly that of the δ chain, indicates a striking concentration of somatic polymorphism in the V-J junctional region of the two heterodimers, four to six orders of magnitude higher than similar calculations for immunoglobulin light- and heavy-chain combinations. In contrast, the number of possible V region combinations in T-cell receptors is one hundredth to one thousandth that of immunoglobulins. TCR ɑ:β heterodimers are known to recognize many possible fragments of antigens embedded in the peptide- binding clefts of a relatively small number of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) molecules. Thus it is attractive to speculate that the V-J junctional portions of both types of T-cell receptor contact peptide antigens, whereas the remaining diversity regions contact the MHC. This contention is supported by molecular modelling studies and has interesting implications for the evolution of antigen-receptor genes.

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Bjorkman, Pamela J.0000-0002-2277-3990
Additional Information:© 1989 Royal Society of London. M. M. D. is a scholar of the PEW Foundation, P.J. B. is a Postdoctoral Fellow of the American Cancer Society and J. F. E. is a Centennial Fellow of the Medical Research Council of Canada. We thank the NIH and Howard Hughes Medical Institute for grant support.
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Pew Charitable TrustUNSPECIFIED
Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)UNSPECIFIED
American Cancer SocietyUNSPECIFIED
Medical Research Council of CanadaUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:1217
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20170406-111844901
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Official Citation:A Possible Basis for Major Histocompatibility Complex-Restricted T-Cell Recognition M. M. Davis, Yueh-Hsiu Chien, Pamela J. Bjorkman, J. F. Elliott, M. Iwashima, E. P. Rock, P. A. Patten Phil. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. B 1989 323 521-524; DOI: 10.1098/rstb.1989.0030. Published 12 June 1989 Stable URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:75806
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:06 Apr 2017 20:31
Last Modified:15 Nov 2021 16:36

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