Germline transcription of T-cell receptor (TCR) genes has been described in early lymphoid cells. The most common explanation for this phenomenon is that transcription of unrearranged Vbeta genes directs gene usage during the rearrangement event. Germline transcription of the TCR-Vbeta8.2 gene has been detected in a precursor T-cell line, C1-V13D, which shows no rearrangement at any of the TCR gene loci. This cell line also shows weak binding of specific anti-Vbeta8.2 antibody to the cell surface, consistent with expression of a truncated TCRbeta chain. RT-PCR has been used to confirm expression of spliced germline transcripts of TCR-Vbeta8.2 in C1-V13D initiated from both leader (L)5.1 and L8.2. Transcripts initiated from L8.2 were also detectable in unspliced form. In order to test expression and subcellular localisation of any encoded peptides, amplified germline transcripts in both spliced and unspliced form were cloned into the pEGFP-N1 fusion vector for stable transfection and overexpression in C1-V13D. Cell surface expression of a fusion protein between EGFP and a Vbeta peptide has been confirmed in C1-V13D but not in control COS-7 cells. Results presented here raise the possibility of a new pre-TCR structure specific to early lymphoid cells and based on TCR-Vbeta8.2 gene expression.