T cell development: better living through chromatin.
T lymphocyte development is directed by a gene-expression program that occurs in the complex nucleoprotein environment of chromatin. This review examines basic principles of chromatin regulation and evaluates ongoing progress toward understanding how the chromatin template is manipulated to control gene expression and gene recombination in developing thymocytes. Special attention is devoted to the loci encoding T cell receptors alpha and beta, T cell coreceptors CD4 and CD8, and the enzyme terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase. The properties of SATB1, a notable organizer of thymocyte chromatin, are also addressed.
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