Rearrangement patterns of the canine TCRγ locus in a distinct group of T cell lymphomas

Stefan M. Keller, Peter F Moore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


The T cell antigen receptor chains are assembled through a rearrangement process that combines variable (V), diversity (D) and joining (J) region genes. Recently, the entire canine T cell receptor γ (TRG) locus was described. It is arranged in 8 cassettes with up to 3 V genes, 2 J genes and 1 C gene each. However, no data is available beyond the level of sequence analysis. The objective of this study was to identify rearranged genes of the canine TRG locus through experimental analysis and to assess gene usage and patterns of rearrangement in a series of canine T cell lymphomas. Rearranged genes were identified through computational analysis of recombination signal sequences (RSSs), a gene's potential to generate a polyclonal smear, and through sequencing of clonal rearrangements in a series of T cell lymphomas. Out of a total of 32 Vγ and Jγ genes, 21 genes were found to rearrange, 8 genes were considered not rearranged and 3 genes were suspected to rearrange but their status could not be determined definitely. Rearrangements of the canine TRG locus were assessed in a group of canine T cell lymphomas as well as 3 neoplastic T cell lines. An average of 4.6 rearrangements per lymphoma was found suggesting that canine T cells routinely rearrange multiple cassettes per allele. The most commonly rearranged Vγ genes belonged to subgroups Vγ2, Vγ3, and Vγ7. Genes in cassettes 2 and 3 preferentially rearranged within their respective cassettes, while Vγ genes in cassette 7 rearranged to a Jγ gene in cassette 8. There was a strong preference for Vγ2 genes to rearrange to a 3' Jγ gene and for Vγ3 and Vγ7 genes to rearrange to a 5' Jγ gene. This rearrangement pattern coincided with the conservation of the spacer sequence between V and J gene subgroups rather than the topologic location of genes. These data show that highly divergent spacer sequences allow for equally efficient recombination and suggest that spacer sequences can mediate compatibility between V and J genes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)350-361
Number of pages12
JournalVeterinary Immunology and Immunopathology
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jan 15 2012


  • Dog
  • Gamma delta T cells
  • Lymphoma
  • Rearrangement
  • T cell receptor gamma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • veterinary(all)


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