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Rearrangement and expression of the antigen receptor alpha, beta and gamma genes in suppressor antigen-specific T cell lines.

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  • Research Article
  • Biology


The rearrangement and transcription of the antigen receptor alpha, beta and gamma genes were investigated in murine antigen-specific suppressor T cell lines, to establish whether the suppressor T cell subset expresses the same antigen receptor transcripts previously found in helper and cytotoxic T lymphocytes. The genomic organization of the alpha, beta and gamma chain loci was investigated using probes representative of the entire gene or fragments from variable, joining and constant regions. The present results show that in functional suppressor T cells the three antigen receptor genes are all rearranged. The beta gene is expressed in all the tested cell lines, while the expression of the alpha and gamma genes is variable. In one cell line (LH8) alpha and gamma genes are not efficiently transcribed; in the other cell line (LA41) the gamma mRNA is found in amounts similar to beta mRNA, whereas the alpha gene is expressed at low levels. These data suggest that in suppressor T cells no direct correlation exists between the expression of alpha, beta and gamma antigen receptor genes and the effector function.

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