Molecular analysis of the human gamma-chain T cell receptor genes

Abstract

In our studies we have focused on the issue of variability and diversity of the $\gamma$ (or $\delta)$ chain T cell receptor (TCR) genes by studying cDNA transcripts in peripheral blood mononuclear cells or $\gamma\delta$ TCR+ T cell clones. The significance of these studies lies in the better understanding of the molecular biology of the $\gamma\delta$ T cell receptor as well as in answering the question whether certain molecular forms predominate in $\gamma\delta$ T cells exhibiting specific immunologic functions. We establish that certain $\gamma$-chain TCR genes exhibit particular patterns of rearrangements in cDNA transcripts in normal individuals. V$\gamma$I subgroup were shown to preferentially rearrange to J$\gamma$2C$\gamma$2 gene segments. These preferential VJC rearrangements, may have implications regarding the potential for diversity and polymorphism of the $\gamma$-chain TCR gene. In addition, the preferential association of V$\gamma$I genes with J$\gamma$2C$\gamma$2, which encode a non-disulfide-linked $\gamma\delta$ TCR, suggests that $\gamma$ chains utilizing V$\gamma$I are predominantly expressed as non-disulfide-linked $\gamma\delta$ TCR heterodimers. The implications of this type of expression remain to be determined. We identified two alternative splicing events of the $\gamma$-chain TCR genes occurring in high frequency in all the normal individuals examined. These events may suggest additional mechanisms of regulation and control as well as diversification of $\gamma\delta$ TCR gene expression. The question whether particular forms of $\gamma$ or $\delta$-chain TCR genes are involved in HLA Class I recognition by specific $\gamma\delta$ cytotoxic T cell clones was addressed. Our results indicated that the T cell clones expressed identical $\gamma$ but distinct $\delta$-chains suggesting that the specificity for recognition of HLA-A2 or HLA-A3 may be conferred by the $\delta$-chain TCR. The issue of the degree of diversity and polymorphism of the $\delta$-chain TCR genes in a patient with a primary immunodeficiency (Omenn's syndrome) was addressed. A limited pattern of rearrangements in peripheral blood transcripts was found, suggesting that a limited $\gamma\delta$ TCR repertoire may be expressed in this particular primary immunodeficiency syndrome. Overall, our findings suggest that $\delta$-chain TCR genes exhibit the potential for significant diversity and that there are certain preferential patterns of expression that may be associated with particular immunologic functions.

Subject Area

Immunology|Molecular biology

Recommended Citation

Mathioudakis, George, "Molecular analysis of the human gamma-chain T cell receptor genes" (1996). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI9732773.
https://digitalcommons.library.tmc.edu/dissertations/AAI9732773

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