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T-cell antigen receptors with identical variable regions but different diversity and joining region gene segments have distinct specificities but cross-reactive idiotypes.

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  • Research Article


The T-cell antigen receptor alpha-chain genes of an alloreactive, H-2Db-specific cytotoxic T-cell clone (3F9) are described. This study and our work on the 3F9 beta-chain genes reveal that the variable region gene segments for the alpha and beta chains expressed in 3F9 are identical to the ones used by a chicken erythrocyte-specific, I-Ab-restricted helper T-cell clone (LB2). These two clones differ, however, in the diversity and joining portions of the alpha and beta chains of their T-cell receptor molecules. The analysis of 3F9 and LB2 with monoclonal antibodies specific for the 3F9 T-cell receptor shows that these two T-cell clones share the same idiotype; however, 3F9 and LB2 do not exhibit any antigen and/or major histocompatibility complex cross-reactivity. This suggests that the diversity and joining regions of the T-cell receptor may play a key role in antigen and/or major histocompatibility complex recognition.

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