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Nat Immunol. 2001 Sep;2(9):863-9.

Somatic activation of beta-catenin bypasses pre-TCR signaling and TCR selection in thymocyte development.

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Department of Pathology, Harvard Medical School, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


Mutation or ablation of T cell factor 1 and lymphocyte enhancer factor 1 indicated involvement of the Wnt pathway in thymocyte development. The central effector of the Wnt pathway is beta-catenin, which undergoes stabilization upon binding of Wnt ligands to frizzled receptors. We report here that conditional stabilization of beta-catenin in immature thymocytes resulted in the generation of single positive T cells that lacked the alpha beta TCR and developed in the absence of pre-TCR signaling and TCR selection. Although active beta-catenin induced differentiation in the absence of TCRs, its action was associated with reduced proliferation and survival when compared to developmental changes induced by the pre-TCR or the alpha beta TCR.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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