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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. Jul 23, 1996; 93(15): 7877–7881.
PMCID: PMC38842

Deletion of the mouse T-cell receptor beta gene enhancer blocks alphabeta T-cell development.

Abstract

Intrathymic T-cell development requires temporally regulated rearrangement and expression of T-cell receptor (TCR) genes. To assess the role of the TCR beta gene transcriptional enhancer (Ebeta) in this process, mouse strains in which Ebeta is deleted were generated using homologous recombination techniques. We report that mice homozygous for the Ebeta deletion, whether a selectable marker gene is present or not, show a block in alphabeta T-cell development at the CD4-CD8- double-negative cell stage, whereas the number of gammadelta+ T cells is normal, few CD4+CD8+ double-positive thymocytes and no alphabeta+ T cells are produced. DNA-PCR and RNA-PCR analyses of thymic cells from homozygous mutants showed no evidence of TCR beta gene rearrangement although germ-line Vbeta transcripts were detected at a low level, in heterozygous T cells, the targeted allele is not rearranged. Thus, deletion of Ebeta totally prevents rearrangement, but not transcription, of the targeted beta locus. These data formally establish the critical role played by Ebeta in cis-activation of the TCR beta locus for V(D)J recombination during alphabeta T-cell development.

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Selected References

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