Previous studies have demonstrated restriction fragment length polymorphisms (RFLP) in the vicinity of the alpha and beta genes of the human T-cell receptor. In the course of experiments designed to discover additional polymorphic restriction sites, we found a new RFLP of the T-cell alpha gene recognized by the restriction enzyme Taq I. The site was localized to the interval between the most 3′ joining (J) exon and the most 5′ constant (C) region exon, about 7 kb distant from the previously described Bgl II polymorphic site which mapped to the vicinity of the 3′ untranslated exon. With the use of these two polymorphic markers, four Ti-alpha alleles could be identified, allowing unambiguous assignment of all Ti-alpha genes in some families. These markers may be useful in identifying possible immune response genes or disease predisposition genes associated with the genes of the T-cell receptor for antigen.
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