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Nat Rev Immunol. 2008 Jan;8(1):9-21.

Launching the T-cell-lineage developmental programme.

Author information

1
Division of Biology 156-29, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California 91125, USA.

Abstract

Multipotent blood progenitor cells enter the thymus and begin a protracted differentiation process in which they gradually acquire T-cell characteristics while shedding their legacy of developmental plasticity. Notch signalling and basic helix-loop-helix E-protein transcription factors collaborate repeatedly to trigger and sustain this process throughout the period leading up to T-cell lineage commitment. Nevertheless, the process is discontinuous with separately regulated steps that demand roles for additional collaborating factors. This Review discusses new evidence on the coordination of specification and commitment in the early T-cell pathway; effects of microenvironmental signals; the inheritance of stem-cell regulatory factors; and the ensemble of transcription factors that modulate the effects of Notch and E proteins, to distinguish individual stages and to polarize T-cell-lineage fate determination.

PMID:
18097446
PMCID:
PMC3131407
DOI:
10.1038/nri2232
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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