Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 11592067
Eur. J. Immunol. 2001 Oct;31(10):2919-25
Using a TCRalpha chain knock-in mouse, we demonstrate that V-gene replacement can operate in the T cell receptor alpha locus. Functional TCRalpha chain transcripts generated by Valpha-gene replacement at the site of the Valpha-embedded heptamer were identified in splenic T cells. This finding shows that Valpha-gene replacement can likely be used to shape the peripheral T cell repertoire. The conservation of the embedded heptamer in most Valpha segments adds support to the notion that V-gene replacement is a mechanism maintained to diversify the immune system and that argues that it is common to B and T cells.