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The recent detailed analysis of genes that undergo rearrangement in T cells has shown that the T-cell receptor genes encoding alpha- and beta-chains are involved in specific alterations in T-cell DNA analogous to the immunoglobulin genes. A third type of gene, designated gamma, has been isolated from mouse cytotoxic T lymphocytes, and evidence suggest that the mouse displays very limited diversity in this gene system, having only three variable-region (V) genes and three constant-region (C) genes. The function of the so-called T-cell gamma gene is unknown. We have isolated genomic genes encoding the human homologue of the mouse T-cell gamma gene; as there is no evidence that this T-cell rearranging gene is anything to do with the T3 molecule, we have designated the human T-cell rearranging gene as TRG gamma (ref. 13), to avoid confusion with the T3 gamma-chain, and have shown that the gene locus maps to chromosome 7 in humans. We now report that human DNA contains two tandemly arranged TRG gamma constant-region genes about 16 kilobases apart. These two genes show multiple rearrangement patterns in a variety of T cells, including helper and cytotoxic/suppressor type, as well as in all forms of T-cell leukaemia. Our results indicate variability of this T-cell gene system in man compared with the analogous system in mouse.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





464 - 466


Amino Acid Sequence, Base Sequence, Cell Line, DNA Restriction Enzymes, Genes, Humans, Immunoglobulin Constant Regions, Immunoglobulin Heavy Chains, Immunoglobulin gamma-Chains, Immunoglobulins, Leukemia, Nucleic Acid Hybridization, Phenotype, T-Lymphocytes