T-Cell Receptors

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Human Uniqueness Compared to "Great Apes": 
Likely Difference

T-cell receptors are membrane-bound receptors that reside on the surface of T lymphocytes (T cells) and that recognize foreign antigens presented by other immune molecules and participate in T cell activation. In humans, there are multiple genes of the TCR family that have become pseudogenized; current estimates based on multiple studies place the number of pseudogenized receptors specific to the human lineage at four. One such pseudogenized receptor gene is the V10 variable gene of the TCR gamma locus (TCRG-V10), in which a point mutation in humans has rendered a necessary splice site nonfunctional. No similar mutation has been recorded in other primates, and the gene displays appropriate splicing in non-human species.

The Human Difference: 


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Topic Certainty
Absolute Lymphocyte Count Speculative


  1. Divergence, demography and gene loss along the human lineage., Kim, Hie Lim, Igawa Takeshi, Kawashima Ayaka, Satta Yoko, and Takahata Naoyuki , Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci, 2010 Aug 27, Volume 365, Issue 1552, p.2451-7, (2010)
  2. The human T-cell receptor gamma variable pseudogene V10 is a distinctive marker of human speciation., Zhang, X M., Cathala G, Soua Z, Lefranc M P., and Huck S , Immunogenetics, 1996, Volume 43, Issue 4, p.196-203, (1996)