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Genes Dev. 1991 May;5(5):880-94.

LEF-1, a gene encoding a lymphoid-specific protein with an HMG domain, regulates T-cell receptor alpha enhancer function [corrected].

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of California, San Francisco 94143-0414.

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  • Genes Dev 1991 Jun;5(6):following 1113.


Lymphoid-specific cDNA clones were isolated that encode a nuclear protein with homology to the chromosomal nonhistone protein HMG-1 and to putative regulators of cell specialization, including the mammalian testis-determining factor SRY and fungal mating-type proteins. The gene represented by the isolated cDNA clones, termed LEF-1 (lymphoid enhancer-binding factor 1), is developmentally regulated and expressed in pre-B and T lymphocytes but not in later-stage B cells or nonlymphoid tissues. Both endogenous and recombinant LEF-1 were shown to bind to a functionally important site in the T-cell antigen receptor (TCR) alpha enhancer. Maximal TCR alpha enhancer activity was found to parallel the cell type-specific expression pattern of LEF-1. Moreover, forced expression of recombinant LEF-1 in late stage B cells increases TCR alpha enhancer function. Taken together, these data suggest that LEF-1 is a regulatory participant in lymphocyte gene expression and differentiation.

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