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Mol Immunol. 1999 Jun;36(8):491-503.

Overexpression of the Helix-Loop-Helix protein Id2 blocks T cell development at multiple stages.

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Department of Biology, State University of New York, New Paltz 12561-2499, USA.


The Id proteins are inhibitors of basic-Helix-Loop-Helix transcription factor function that have been implicated in the control of cell differentiation and proliferation. To study the role of Id proteins in the control of T cell development, we generated transgenic mice that overexpress the Id2 protein in thymocytes. We detect a significant expansion of the early CD4(-)CD8(+)TCR(-) thymocyte stage and a depletion of the thymocytes of the subsequent developmental stages. These data indicate that the overexpression of Id2 leads to a stage-specific developmental block early in thymopoiesis. In addition, progeny mice from five of the six Id2 transgenic founder lines succumb to aggressive T cell hyperproliferation that resembles lymphoma. Thus, overexpression of the Id2 protein has profound effects on T cell development and oncogenesis, consistent with the hypothesis that the bHLH proteins play critical roles in these processes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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