Diversity of murine gamma genes and expression in fetal and adult T lymphocytes

Nature. 1986 Aug 28-Sep 3;322(6082):836-40. doi: 10.1038/322836a0.


The search for the genes encoding the T-cell receptor alpha and chains revealed a third gene, T gamma (ref. 1), which shares with t T alpha (refs 2-7) and T beta (refs 8-15) genes a number of structure features, including somatic rearrangement during T-cell development. T gamma gene expression appears to be unnecessary in son mature T cells and is at its greatest in fetal thymocytes encouraging speculation that T gamma has a role in T-cell development and may be involved in the recognition of polymorphic major histocompatibility complex (MHC) products during thymic education. One argument against the participation of T gamma in such a process has been its apparently limited diversity, due to the small number of gene segments available for rearrangement. We here describe the identification of additional T gamma V-gene segments and demonstrate that they can be rearranged to previously identified J- and C-gene segments and are expressed in fetal thymocytes. In addition we describe a variety of patterns of T gamma mRNA processing which may be significant for T gamma gene regulation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • DNA / analysis
  • Genes
  • Mice
  • Peptide Fragments / genetics*
  • RNA Splicing
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / genetics*
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, gamma-delta
  • T-Lymphocytes / analysis*
  • Thymus Gland / embryology


  • Peptide Fragments
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, gamma-delta
  • DNA