Molecular genetics of the T cell-receptor beta chain

Annu Rev Immunol. 1985;3:537-60. doi: 10.1146/annurev.iy.03.040185.002541.


Characterization of cDNA and genomic clones encoding the Beta chain of the T-cell receptor for antigen reveals a very close resemblance to immunoglobulin: V, D, J, and C elements; the mechanism of rearrangement; and the potential extent of diversity, explaining the relatively large T-cell repertoire of specificities and the clonal nature of individual responses. Differences with immunoglobulins are evident in the much more heterogeneous V beta sequences, which appear to have additional hypervariable regions. Together these data predict a roughly immunoglobulin-like structure for the receptor, but with potentially significant variation from immunoglobulin in the nature of the combining site(s).

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • DNA / genetics
  • Genes
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin Constant Regions / genetics
  • Immunoglobulin J-Chains / genetics
  • Immunoglobulin Variable Region / genetics
  • Mice
  • Peptides / genetics
  • Protein Conformation
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / genetics*
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes / classification
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology


  • Immunoglobulin Constant Regions
  • Immunoglobulin J-Chains
  • Immunoglobulin Variable Region
  • Peptides
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell
  • DNA