Variation in human T cell receptor V beta and J beta repertoire: analysis using anchor polymerase chain reaction

Eur J Immunol. 1992 Feb;22(2):541-9. doi: 10.1002/eji.1830220237.


Anchor polymerase chain reaction has been applied to the study of human T cell receptor beta chain repertoire in peripheral blood. The use of this technique has demonstrated that considerable variation in V beta and J beta usage exists, both within and between individuals. Particular V beta families, including V beta 6, V beta 4 and V beta 12 are commonly utilized, while families such as V beta 10, V beta 11 and V beta 15 are rare in all individuals studied. Marked interindividual variation in V beta usage was detected for V beta 12 and V beta 4. Biased usage of J beta elements is a prominent feature of peripheral repertoire, while there is no evidence for preferential V beta-J beta recombination events. Biased J beta usage in expressed V beta-D beta-J beta-C beta transcripts, subject to selection, was the same as that in aberrant, unselected D beta-J beta-C beta transcripts, implying that bias resulted from events relating to rearrangement itself, in the absence of selection. N-region diversity showed some evidence for preferential insertion of deoxyguanosine, consistent with the action of terminal deoxytransferase. No P-nucleotide incorporation was seen in association with intact J beta elements. These data provide evidence of some of the variation in human T cell receptor beta chain repertoire and provide a basis for comparisons with sequences which may be obtained in autoimmune and superantigen-mediated diseases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Base Sequence
  • DNA / genetics
  • Gene Expression
  • Gene Rearrangement, beta-Chain T-Cell Antigen Receptor*
  • Humans
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Oligodeoxyribonucleotides / chemistry
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods*
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta / genetics*


  • Oligodeoxyribonucleotides
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta
  • DNA