The TCR consists of the Ti alpha beta heterodimer and the associated CD3 chains, CD3 gamma delta epsilon zeta 2 or zeta eta. The structural relationships between the subunits of the Ti/CD3 complex are still not fully understood. To explore the roles of the individual CD3 chains for the assembly, intracellular processing, and expression of the TCR, mutants of the T cell line Jurkat were isolated. One variant, JGN, was found to produce all the Ti/CD3 components with the exception of CD3-gamma. The results indicate that: 1) the tetrameric form (Ti alpha beta-CD3 delta epsilon) of the Ti/CD3 complex is produced in the endoplasmic reticulum in the absence of CD3-gamma; 2) CD3-zeta does not associate with the Ti alpha beta-CD3 delta epsilon complex; 3) the Ti alpha beta-CD3 delta epsilon complex is not exported from the endoplasmic reticulum to the Golgi apparatus; and 4) CD3-gamma is required for cell surface expression of the Ti/CD3 complex. Transfection of the wild-type CD3-gamma gene into JGN reconstituted expression of functional Ti/CD3 complexes, and analysis of T cell lines producing different amounts of CD3-gamma indicated that CD3-gamma and CD3-delta competed for the binding to CD3-epsilon.
Keywords: Antigens, CD3; Antigens, Differentiation, T-Lymphocyte; Base Sequence; Cell Line; DNA; Humans; Molecular Sequence Data; Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell; T-Lymphocytes; Transfection