Dominant expression of a distinctive V14+ T-cell antigen receptor α chain in mice

Haruhiko Koseki, Hidefumi Asano, Tsuneyoshi Inaba, Nobumoto Miyashita, Kazuo Moriwaki, Kirsten Fischer Lindahl, Yoko Mizutani, Kenji Imai, Masaru Taniguchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

102 Scopus citations


A distinctive variable region 14-positive (V14+) α chain (V(α)14+) of the T-cell antigen receptor is predominantly expressed in multiple mouse subspecies. The V(α)14 family has two members, V(α)14.1 and V(α)14.2, which differ by only three amino acids at positions 50-52. Based on the EcoRI restriction fragment length polymorphism of the gene encoding V(α)14, mice can be divided into three groups: type I with an 11.2-kilobase (kb) fragment, type II with a 2.0-kb fragment, and type III with the 2.0-kb and 11.2-kb fragments. Usage of V(α)14-J(α)281, where J(α)281 is an α-chain joining segment, with a one-base N region dominates at the level of 0.02-1.5% of α chains in all laboratory strains, Mus musculus castaneus, and Mus musculus domesticus but not in Mus musculus molossinus, Mus musculus musculus, and Mus spicilegus samples. The preferential V(α)14-J(α)281 expression seems to be due to positive selection because the V-J junctional region is always glycine, despite the ability of the V(α)14 gene to associate with J(α) other than J(α)281. As V(α)14-J(α)281 expression is independent of known major histocompatibility complex antigens, including H-2, TLA, Qa, and HMT, the selecting ligand must be a monomorphic molecule of the mouse, expressed in a subspecies-specific manner. Additional observations, such as the expression of homogeneous V(α)14-J(α)281 in athymic mice, suggest that the positive selection of V(α)14+ T cells occurs extrathymically.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7518-7522
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number17
StatePublished - 1991


  • extrathymic-positive selection
  • homogeneous variable-joining region junction
  • variable region 14 genes
  • wild mice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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