By Frank J. Dixon
The Scripps study Institute, l. a. Jolla, CA. newest findings within the box of immunology. transformed define structure.
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The present view of the pre-TCR depicts a rather asymmetric structure that lacks a partner chain for the TCRP V-region domain. , 1994), an observation that can be interpreted as indication that an additional component, not present in mature cell lines, is mandatory. However, it is equally possible that mature T cells actively retain pre-TCR complexes. , 1996a), suggesting that neither a V/3 nor a hypothetical Vpre-T domain is absolutely required for pre-TCR function. , 1996a). , 1996) provide an appealing argument in favor of a VpreT subunit, the difference between TCRP and IgH chains in terms of folding, as well as structural differences between pTa and A5 chains (reviewed in von Boehmer and Fehling, 1997), should also be considered.
Staining with CD4- and CD8-specific antibodies revealed that this strong reduction in total thymic cellularitywas due mainly to a decrease of DP thymocytes to less than 5% the number found in wild-type controls. , to a roughly similar degree as DP thymocytes. The large parallel reduction in the number of DP and SP thymocytes suggested that the relative decrease of SP thymocytes in pTa-’- mice was simply due to an insufficient supply of DP precursors and that pTa was not required for the DP to SP transition itself.
A very interesting finding has been reported by Passoni and colleagues (1997). These researchers analyzed the reading frame of TCRG rearrangements in the residual DP thymocyte population of TCRP-deficient mice. Using the PCR-RFLP technique and primers specific for Vs4, Vs5, V66, and J G l , it was found that more than 70% of the corresponding TCRG rearrangements in DP thymocytes of TCR0-I- mice were in frame. + Jyl rearrangements. A random rearrangement process is expected to generate in-frame joints in only one out of three rearrangements, which was actually found when the preceding CD25+CD44-"OWDN population was analyzed with the same sets of primers.
Advances in Immunology, Vol. 69 by Frank J. Dixon