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J Exp Med. 1999 Oct 18;190(8):1093-102.

Allelic exclusion of the T cell receptor beta locus requires the SH2 domain-containing leukocyte protein (SLP)-76 adaptor protein.

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Institut National de la Santé et Recherche Medicale (INSERM) U373, Hôpital Necker Enfants-Malades, Paris cedex 15, France.


Signaling via the pre-T cell receptor (TCR) is required for the proliferative expansion and maturation of CD4(-)CD8(-) double-negative (DN) thymocytes into CD4(+)CD8(+) double-positive (DP) cells and for TCR-beta allelic exclusion. The adaptor protein SH2 domain-containing leukocyte protein (SLP)-76 has been shown to play a crucial role in thymic development, because thymocytes of SLP-76(-/-) mice are arrested at the CD25(+)CD44(-) DN stage. Here we show that SLP-76(-/-) DN thymocytes express the pre-TCR on their surfaces and that introduction of a TCR-alpha/beta transgene into the SLP-76(-/-) background fails to cause expansion of DN thymocytes or developmental progression to the DP stage. Moreover, analysis of TCR-beta rearrangement in SLP-76(-/-) TCR-transgenic mice or in single CD25(+)CD44(-) DN cells from SLP-76(-/-) mice indicates an essential role of SLP-76 in TCR-beta allelic exclusion.

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