We have determined the nucleotide sequence and genomic organization of the mouse Lyt-2 T lymphocyte differentiation antigen gene. This gene consists of five exons and four introns, and the organization roughly parallels the protein domains. Alternative splicing to include or exclude exon IV (encoding part of the cytoplasmic tail) results in two forms of mRNA and accounts for the difference in size between the alpha- and alpha'-chains of Lyt-2. The gene structure provides further evidence for the evolutionary relationship between Lyt-2 and immunoglobulin genes. Comparison of the nucleotide sequence of the Lyt-2.1 and Lyt-2.2 alleles shows a high degree of conservation, but indicates that a single nucleotide change and consequent amino acid substitution in the variable region-like domain accounts for the serologic difference between these two alleles.

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