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Immunity. 2003 Feb;18(2):173-84.

Hierarchical interactions control CD4 gene expression during thymocyte development.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology, 701 West 168th Street, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, NY 10032, USA.


CD4 gene regulation provides an ideal model for understanding the molecular events that drive T cell development. In this paper we use a transgenic approach to identify a CD4 LCR containing a stage-specific thymocyte enhancer (TE) and a region that protects against position effect variegation. Surprisingly, the TE acts indirectly through the previously defined proximal enhancer and is strongly induced upon commitment to the T cell lineage. We also describe a complex series of hierarchical control element interactions that orchestrate CD4 expression throughout thymopoiesis. These data provide a framework for understanding how CD4 gene expression is regulated in response to lineage commitment decisions.

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