T cell receptor genes in a series of class I major histocompatibility complex-restricted cytotoxic T lymphocyte clones specific for a Plasmodium berghei nonapeptide: implications for T cell allelic exclusion and antigen-specific repertoire

J Exp Med. 1991 Dec 1;174(6):1371-83. doi: 10.1084/jem.174.6.1371.


We report here the first extensive study of a T cell repertoire for a class I major histocompatibility complex (MHC)-restricted cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) response. We have found that the T cell receptors (TCRs) carried by 28 H-2Kd-restricted CTL clones specific for a single Plasmodium berghei circumsporozoite nonapeptide are highly diverse in terms of V alpha, J alpha, and J beta segments and aminoacid composition of the junctional regions. However, despite this extensive diversity, a high proportion of the TCRs contain the same V beta segment. These results are in contrast to most previously reported T cell responses towards class II MHC-peptide complexes, where the TCR repertoires appeared to be much more limited. In our study, the finding of a dominant V beta in the midst of otherwise highly diverse TCRs suggests the importance of the V beta segment in shaping the T cell repertoire specific for a given MHC-peptide complex. As an additional finding, we observed that nearly all clones have rearranged both TCR alpha loci. Moreover, as many as one-third of the CTL clones that we analyzed apparently display two productive alpha rearrangements. This argues against a regulated model of sequential recombination at the alpha locus and consequently raises the question of whether allelic exclusion of the TCR alpha chain is achieved at all.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alleles*
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Clone Cells
  • Gene Rearrangement, T-Lymphocyte
  • H-2 Antigens / immunology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Plasmodium berghei / immunology*
  • Protozoan Proteins / immunology*
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta / chemistry
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta / genetics*
  • T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic / immunology*
  • Transcription, Genetic


  • H-2 Antigens
  • Protozoan Proteins
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta

Associated data

  • GENBANK/X60837
  • GENBANK/X60838
  • GENBANK/X60839
  • GENBANK/X60840
  • GENBANK/X60841
  • GENBANK/X60842
  • GENBANK/X60843
  • GENBANK/X60844
  • GENBANK/X60845
  • GENBANK/X60846
  • GENBANK/X60847
  • GENBANK/X60848
  • GENBANK/X60849
  • GENBANK/X60850
  • GENBANK/X60851
  • GENBANK/X60852
  • GENBANK/X60853
  • GENBANK/X60854
  • GENBANK/X60855
  • GENBANK/X60856
  • GENBANK/X60857
  • GENBANK/X60858
  • GENBANK/X60859
  • GENBANK/X60860
  • GENBANK/X60861
  • GENBANK/X60862
  • GENBANK/X60863
  • GENBANK/X60864
  • GENBANK/X60865
  • GENBANK/X60866