A cDNA clone YT35, synthesized from poly(A)+ RNA of the human T cell tumor Molt 3, exhibits homology to the variable (V), joining (J), and constant (C) regions of immunoglobulin genes. We have isolated and sequenced the germ-line V and J gene segment counterparts to YT35 from a human cosmid library, and these failed to encode 14 nucleotides of the cDNA clone between the V and J regions. We postulate that these 14 nucleotides are encoded by a third gene segment analogous to the diversity (D) gene segments of immunoglobulin heavy chain genes. This T cell antigen receptor V gene appears to be assembled from three gene segments, V, D, and J, and accordingly most closely resembles immunoglobulin heavy chain V genes.
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