We have characterized four overlapping genomic clones containing the DA rat TCR C beta complex, which span a total of 23 kb and bear two closely related complexes of gene segments. The D beta 1-J beta 1-C beta 1 and the D beta 2-J beta 2-C beta 2 complexes each contain a single diversity segment, six joining segments and four exons that encode the C region. All gene segments appear to be functional except J beta 2.5, which has a 5-bp frame-shifting deletion. This organizational pattern is identical to that of the mouse, and the homologous rat and mouse coding regions share about 92% nucleotide sequence identity. Our sequence comparisons indicate that a localized gene correction event has homogenized the sequences of the first exons of C beta 1 and C beta 2 in the evolutionary time since rats and mice became separate species. We have identified three repetitive elements, each flanked by short direct repeats, present in the region "brain-specific" identifier (ID) sequences, another is a truncated member of the LINE I class of repetitive elements, and the third is a member of the Alu type 2 family. The insertion of at least two, and probably all, of these elements has occurred since the time of rat/mouse divergence. We have identified a substantial number of "cryptic" rearrangement signals (heptamer/nonamer) in the C beta locus, which match the consensus sequence as well or better than authentic signals, and may represent sites of nonfunctional rearrangements.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.