alpha/beta vs gamma/delta

bhjelle at bhjelle at
Wed Oct 28 09:14:07 EST 1992

In article <9210272157.AA09706 at sol.UVic.CA> jdboer at SOL.UVIC.CA (Johan deBoer) writes:
>Hello fellow netters,
>Here is a question that maybe a real immunologist can answer.
>The majority of T-cells express the alpha/beta heterodimer on their
>surface. A smaller number of cells express however the beta/gamma
>combination. This seems mutually exclusive. My question is the
>following: are all of these genes rearranged, regardless which
>ones are expressed? Or are only the gamma and delta rearranged in
>the g/d expressing cells and are only the alpha/beta rearranged in
>the a/b expressing cells.
>Is this known? Does anyone know, and have a reference to this?
Gamma genes rearrange first, followed by beta chains. Most gamma
rearrangements are nonproductive, due to N-region insertions
and deletions that knock the gene out of frame. The vast
majority of alpha-beta expressing cells have rearranged
gamma genes.

Gamma genes appear to be particularly good substrates for the


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