A unique V-J-C-rearranged gene encodes a gamma protein expressed on the majority of CD3+ T cell receptor-alpha/beta- circulating lymphocytes

J Exp Med. 1988 Feb 1;167(2):694-9. doi: 10.1084/jem.167.2.694.


We have recently described an mAb, anti-Ti gamma A, that recognizes an antigenic determinant carried by a TCR gamma chain. This antibody binds to approximately 3% of human PBLs and delineates a CD2+, CD3+, TCR-alpha/beta-, CD4-, CD8+/-, CD5+, NKH1-, and HLA class II- subset. The present study was designed to identify the gene encoding the Ti gamma A epitope. A first analysis was carried out on a previously characterized TCR gamma + fetal-cloned cell line termed F6C7. It was found that F6C7 cells have one gamma rearrangement on each chromosome: one joins V gamma 3 to J gamma 1, and the second joins V gamma 9 to J gamma P. Because only the latter allele appeared to be transcribed in the F6C7 lymphocytes, these data strongly suggested that anti-Ti gamma A mAb is specific for either a V gamma 9 or a V gamma 9-J gamma P-encoded peptide. To confirm this point, we studied an additional series of 13 randomly selected Ti gamma A+ cloned cells derived from peripheral blood of three distinct adult individuals. Each one of these lymphocytes was shown to both possess and transcribe a V gamma 9-J gamma P-C gamma 1-rearranged gene. It is therefore concluded that a predominant subpopulation of CD3+ TCR-alpha/beta- human circulating T lymphocytes (namely, the subset defined by anti-Ti gamma A mAb) surface expresses a gamma protein with a limited potential of variability from one cell to another.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antigens, Differentiation, T-Lymphocyte / genetics*
  • Cell Line
  • Epitopes / genetics
  • Genes*
  • Humans
  • Mutation
  • Nucleic Acid Hybridization
  • Phenotype
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / genetics*
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / isolation & purification
  • Recombination, Genetic*
  • T-Lymphocytes / classification*
  • T-Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • Transcription, Genetic


  • Antigens, Differentiation, T-Lymphocyte
  • Epitopes
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell