Abstract

The human T cell receptor (TCR) gamma polypeptide occurs in structurally distinct forms on certain peripheral blood T lymphocytes. Complementary DNA clones representing the transcripts of functionally rearranged TCR gamma genes in these cells have been analyzed. The expression of a disulfide-linked and a nondisulfide-linked form of TCR gamma correlates with the use of the C gamma 1 and C gamma 2 constant-region gene segments, respectively. Variability in TCR gamma polypeptide size and disulfide linkage is determined by the number of copies and the sequence of a repeated segment of the constant region. Thus C gamma 1 and C gamma 2 are used to generate structurally distinct, yet functional, T3-associated receptor complexes on peripheral blood lymphocytes. Tryptic peptide mapping suggests that the T3-associated TCR gamma and delta peptides in the nondisulfide-linked form are distinct.

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