TCR α-Chain Usage Can Determine Antigen-Selected TCR β-Chain Repertoire Diversity

Stephen J. Turner, Stephen C. Cose, Francis R. Carbone

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32 Citations (Scopus)


There is considerable variation in the TCR repertoire diversity selected by different peptide Ags. Certain responses show limited V region bias with minimal restrictions in the remainder of the sequence while others can be dominated by a single TCR clonotype repeatedly isolated from different individuals. CTL specific for a K b -restricted determinant from the herpes simplex virus glycoprotein B (gB) preferentially express a dominant TCRBV10 β-chain subset with extensive conservation located at the V-D junction. However, unlike some biased responses, no single β-chain V-D-J combination appears to dominate these CTL. Different animals respond with a large array of unique or "private" β-chain sequences with little J region preference. Here we examine the contribution of the TCR α-chain to the gB-specific CTL diversity. The TCR α-chains from different TCRBV10-positive gB-specific CTL clones were found to exhibit extensive sequence variation. However, when T cells were forced to use a single α-chain in TCR α-chain transgenic mice, gB-specific CTL showed limited variation in their β-chain selection. These T cells retained the TCRBV10 bias but were now dominated by a single β-chain sequence that could be repeatedly isolated from different transgenic animals. This "public" TCR consisted of the transgenic α-chain and a common TCRBV10D2J2S6 β-chain. These results suggest that preferential use of one TCR subunit can restrict the level of diversity in the other chain due to interchain interactions involving J-derived sequences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4979-4985
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 1996
Externally publishedYes

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