Cutting edge: Recombinase-activating gene expression and V(D)J recombination in CD4+CD3(low) mature T lymphocytes

Erica Lantelme, Belinda Palermo, Luisa Granziero, Stefania Mantovani, Rita Campanelli, Virginia Monafo, Antonio Lanzavecchia, Claudia Giachino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The recombinase-activating genes, RAG-1 and RAG-2, can be expressed by a subset of B cells within germinal centers, where they mediate secondary V(D)J rearrangements. This receptor revision mechanism could serve either receptor diversification or tolerance-induced functions. Alternatively, it might rescue those cells the receptors of which have been damaged by somatic mutation. Less is known about the occurrence of similar mechanisms in T cells. Here we show that mature T cells with defective TCR surface expression can express RAG genes and are capable of initiating secondary V(D)J rearrangements. The possibility that a cell rescue mechanism based on the generation of a novel Ag receptor might be active in peripheral T cells is envisaged.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3455-3459
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology

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