Restricted usage of T-cell receptor Vα sequence and variable-joining pairs after normal T-cell development and bone marrow transplantation
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TCR V alpha 3 and V alpha 5 transcripts in PBLs from healthy individuals of multiple age groups and from BMT recipients were analyzed. PCR, cloning, and sequencing studies revealed significant V-J junctional diversity among TCR transcripts from all tested blood samples, as provided both by N/P-region addition and exonuclease activity. However, results illustrated restrictions in TCR alpha diversity at several additional levels. First, V alpha 5 and V alpha 3 gene families, which were expected to be composed of multiple members, were dominated in each case by a single sequence at the transcript level. Second, restrictions existed in V-J pairing in that J alpha genes, which were encoded toward the 5' region of the locus, were rearranged frequently with V alpha 3 and rarely with V alpha 5. Conversely, J alpha genes encoded toward the 3' region of the locus preferentially rearranged with V alpha 5. Healthy individuals showed few differences with regard to V-J pairing patterns, while one of three BMT recipients demonstrated a skewed usage of 3' J alpha genes. In total, results demonstrated qualitative restrictions that may limit the working TCR repertoire in human peripheral tissues, both among BMT recipients and their healthy donors.
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