Characterization of T cell receptor gamma chain expression in a subset of murine thymocytes

Andrew M. Lew, Drew M. Pardoll, W. Lee Maloy, B. J. Fowlkes, Ada Kruisbeek, Shi Fey Cheng, Ronald N. Germain, Jeffrey A. Bluestone, Ronald H. Schwartz, John E. Coligan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

142 Scopus citations


While much information exists about the structure and function of the clonally distributed T cell receptor (TCR) αβ heterodimer, little is known about the γ protein, the product of a third rearranging TCR gene. An antiserum to a carboxyl-terminal peptide common to several of the murine gamma chain constant regions and a monoclonal antibody to the murine T3 complex were used to identify products of this TCR gene family in a subpopulation of Lyt2-, L3T4- thymocytes. This subpopulation does not express TCRα or full-length TCRβ messenger RNA. The gamma chain is a 35-kilodalton (kD) protein that is disulfide-bonded to a 45-kD partner and is associated with the T3 complex. Analysis of the glycosylation pattern of this thymic gamma chain revealed that the major variable region gamma (Vγ) gene transcribed in activated peripheral T cells is absent from this subpopulation. The cells that bear this second T cell receptor may therefore represent a distinct lineage differentiating within the thymus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1401-1405
Number of pages5
Issue number4782
StatePublished - 1986
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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