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Cell Cycle. 2008 Dec 15;7(24):3847-57. Epub 2008 Dec 23.

T cell survival and function requires the c-Abl tyrosine kinase.

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Lautenberg Center for General and Tumor Immunology, Hadassah Medical School, The Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel.


C-Abl (Abl) regulates multiple cellular processes, including proliferation, survival, shape determination and motility, and participates in cellular responses to genotoxic and oxidative stress stimuli. Mice lacking Abl exhibit retarded growth, osteoporosis and defects in the immune system resulting in lymphopoenia and susceptibility to infections, leading to early death. To define the role of Abl in the regulation of adult T cells we ablated Abl exclusively in T cells by generating mice with floxed abl alleles and expressing an Lck-Cre transgene (Abl-T(-/-)). These mice exhibited thymic atrophy and abnormally reduced T cell numbers in the periphery. The thymic atrophy was caused by increased susceptibility of thymocytes to cell death. Importantly, Abl deficient T cells displayed abnormally reduced response to mitogenic stimulation in vitro. Consequently, Abl-T(-/-) mice exhibited impaired ability to reject syngeneic tumor, to induce T-mediated tumor cell killing, and to generate anti-tumor antibodies. These results demonstrate a cell-autonomous role for Abl in T cell function and survival.

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