New insight into the genomic structure of dog T cell receptor beta (TRB) locus inferred from expression analysis

Dev Comp Immunol. 2012 Jun;37(2):279-93. doi: 10.1016/j.dci.2012.03.010. Epub 2012 Mar 28.


Here is an updated report on the genomic organization of T cell receptor beta (TRB) locus in the domestic dog (Canis lupus familiaris) as inferred from comparative genomics and expression analysis. The most interesting results we found were a second TRBD-J-C cluster, which is absent from the reference genome sequence, and the annotation of two additional TRBV genes. In dogs, TRB locus consists of a library of 37 TRBV genes positioned at the 5' end of two in tandem aligned D-J-C gene clusters, each composed of a single TRBD, 6 TRBJ and one TRBC genes, followed by a single TRBV gene with an inverted transcriptional orientation. The TRB genes are distributed in less than 300kb, making the canine locus, one of the smaller mammalian TRB locus studied so far. The small size may be ascribed to reduced gene duplication occurrences and a lower density of total interspersed repeats compared to humans and mice. Despite the low TRBV gene content, a large and diversified beta chain repertoire is displayed in the dog peripheral blood. A full usage of TRBV and TRBJ genes, including pseudogenes, and a high level of allelic polymorphism contribute to generate diversity. Finally, this study suggests that the overall TRB locus organization is evolutionarily conserved supporting the dog as a highly suited model system for immune development and diseases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Dogs / genetics*
  • Dogs / immunology*
  • Genes, T-Cell Receptor beta*
  • Genome
  • Humans
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Phylogeny
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta / genetics
  • Regulatory Elements, Transcriptional
  • Sequence Alignment


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