E2A and HEB are required to block thymocyte proliferation prior to pre-TCR expression.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Thymocytes undergoing TCRbeta gene rearrangements are maintained in a low or nonproliferating state during early T cell development. This block in cell cycle progression is not released until the expression of a functional pre-TCR, which is composed of a successfully rearranged TCRbeta-chain and the Pre-Talpha-chain. The regulatory molecules responsible for the coordination of these differentiation and proliferation events are currently unknown. E2A and HEB are structurally and functionally related basic helix-loop-helix transcription factors involved in T cell development. To reveal the function of E2A and HEB through the stage of pre-TCR expression and alleviate functional compensation between E2A and HEB, we use a double-conditional knockout model. The simultaneous deletion of E2A and HEB in developing thymocytes leads to a severe developmental block before pre-TCR expression and a dramatic reduction of Pre-Talpha expression. These developmentally arrested thymocytes exhibit increased proliferation in vivo and dramatic expansion ex vivo in response to IL-7 signaling. These results suggest that E2A and HEB are not only critical for T cell differentiation but also necessary to retain developing thymocytes in cell cycle arrest before pre-TCR expression.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Wojciechowski, J; Lai, A; Kondo, M; Zhuang, Y

Published Date

  • May 1, 2007

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 178 / 9

Start / End Page

  • 5717 - 5726

PubMed ID

  • 17442955

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC2265380

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0022-1767

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.4049/jimmunol.178.9.5717


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States