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Paper Chase

Close linkage of the mouse and human CD3 gamma- and delta-chain genes suggests that their transcription is controlled by common regulatory elements.

Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.. 12 1, 1987;84(24):9131-4.
Saito H, Koyama T, Georgopoulos K, Clevers H, Haser WG, LeBien T, Tonegawa S, Terhorst C.

Division of Tumor Immunology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115.


Antigen receptors on the T-cell surface are noncovalently associated with at least four invariant polypeptide chains, CD3-gamma, -delta, -epsilon, and -zeta. The mouse CD3-gamma gene, consisting of seven exons, was found to be highly homologous to the CD3-delta gene described earlier. Both the high level of sequence homology and the exon/intron organization indicate that the CD3-gamma and -delta genes arose by gene duplication. Surprisingly, murine and human genomic DNA clones could be isolated that contained elements of both the CD3-gamma and CD3-delta genes. In fact, the putative transcription start site of the mouse CD3-gamma gene is less than 1.4 kilobases from the transcription initiation site of the mouse CD3-delta gene. Common elements that regulate the divergent transcription of the two genes are therefore proposed to be located in the intervening 1.4-kilobase DNA segment. This might contribute to the coordinate expression of the CD3-gamma and -delta genes during intrathymic maturation of T lymphocytes.