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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1995 Aug 1;92(16):7420-4.

Characterization of immature thymocyte lines derived from T-cell receptor or recombination activating gene 1 and p53 double mutant mice.

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  • 1Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Department of Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge 02139, USA.


The T-cell receptor (TCR) beta chain is instrumental in the progression of thymocyte differentiation from the CD4-CD8- to the CD4+CD8+ stage. This differentiation step may involve cell surface expression of novel CD3-TCR complexes. To facilitate biochemical characterization of these complexes, we established cell lines from thymic lymphomas originating from mice carrying a mutation in the p53 gene on the one hand and a mutation in TCR-alpha, TCR-beta, or the recombination activating gene 1 (RAG-1) on the other hand. The cell lines were CD4+CD8+ and appeared to be monoclonal. A cell line derived from a RAG-1 x p53 double mutant thymic lymphoma expressed low levels of CD3-epsilon, -gamma, and -delta on the surface. TCR-alpha x p53 double mutant cell lines were found to express complexes consisting of TCR-beta chains associated with CD3-epsilon, -gamma, and -delta chains and CD3-zeta zeta dimers. These lines will be useful tools to study the molecular structure and signal transducing properties of partial CD3-TCR complexes expressed on the surface of immature thymocytes.

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