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EMBO J. 2004 Jan 14;23(1):202-11. Epub 2003 Dec 11.

E2A proteins enforce a proliferation checkpoint in developing thymocytes.

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Division of Biological Sciences, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA.


E2A proteins regulate multiple stages of thymocyte development and suppress T-cell lymphoma. The activity of E2A proteins throughout thymocyte development is modulated by signals emanating from the pre-TCR and TCR. Here we demonstrate that E2A is required for the complete arrest in both differentiation and proliferation observed in thymocytes with defects in proteins that mediate pre-TCR signaling, including LAT, Lck and Fyn. We show that E2A proteins are required to prevent the accumulation of TCRbeta negative cells beyond the pre-TCR checkpoint. E2A-deficient thymocytes also exhibit abnormal cell-cycle progression prior to pre-TCR expression. Furthermore, we demonstrate that E47 can act in concert with Bcl-2 to induce cell-cycle arrest in vitro. These observations indicate that E2A proteins function during early thymocyte development to block cell-cycle progression prior to the expression of TCRbeta. In addition, these data provide further insight into how deficiencies in E2A lead to T lymphoma.

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