TCR gene segments from at least one third of V alpha subfamilies rearrange at the delta locus

Mol Immunol. 1994 Feb;31(2):109-15. doi: 10.1016/0161-5890(94)90083-3.


Using PCR and an experimentally validated V alpha subfamily-specific oligonucleotide panel (V alpha 1-w29), we have investigated whether the TCR delta chain may increase its combinatorial diversity by using V genes considered as alpha chain-specific. We show that at least 10 distinct human V alpha segments rearrange at the J delta locus, leading to scrambling of the two V gene repertoires. Fifty-five per cent of the V alpha/J delta transcripts characterized here were in frame. The 17 V alpha/C delta chains analysed included an extended CDR3 region with up to 18 aa encoded by the junctional region. In addition, a new J delta segment (J delta 4) has been characterized. Together, these findings demonstrate that combinatorial diversity in the human delta locus is larger than previously thought.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Base Sequence
  • DNA
  • DNA Primers
  • Gene Rearrangement, alpha-Chain T-Cell Antigen Receptor*
  • Gene Rearrangement, delta-Chain T-Cell Antigen Receptor*
  • Humans
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / genetics*
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / immunology*


  • DNA Primers
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell
  • DNA

Associated data

  • GENBANK/S69035
  • GENBANK/S69039
  • GENBANK/S69040
  • GENBANK/S69042