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Curr Opin Immunol. 2002 Apr;14(2):192-9.

Deciphering the role of Notch signaling in lymphopoiesis.

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TVW Telethon Institute for Child Health Research, Subiaco, WA 6008, Australia.


Components of the Notch signaling pathway are expressed during multiple stages of lymphoid development. Consistent with its function during invertebrate development, Notch signaling is proposed to have a central role in lymphoid cell-fate specification. Recent studies show that Notch signaling is a proximal event in T-cell commitment from a common lymphoid progenitor. The role of Notch at later stages of lymphoid development is controversial, but recent data suggest models that may help clarify observations. Current studies suggest that Notch activity is cell-context dependent and interactions between Notch and other environmental receptors are integrated during cell-fate decisions. Furthermore, the requirement for precise regulation of Notch activity is evident from human and murine neoplasms in which dysregulated Notch signaling leads to T-cell leukemia. Future studies that identify the stages of lymphoid development where Notch signaling is physiologically active and the exact targets of Notch signaling that are relevant to lymphopoiesis should significantly improve our understanding of Notch function in T- and B-cell development.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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