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Nat Immunol. 2009 Aug;10(8):840-7. doi: 10.1038/ni.1768. Epub 2009 Jul 13.

Themis, a T cell-specific protein important for late thymocyte development.

Author information

1
Laboratory of Mammalian Genes and Development, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Bethesda, Maryland, USA.

Erratum in

  • Nat Immunol. 2010 Jan;11(1):97.

Abstract

During positive selection, thymocytes transition through a stage during which T cell antigen receptor (TCR) signaling controls CD4-versus-CD8 lineage 'choice' and subsequent maturation. Here we describe a previously unknown T cell-specific protein, Themis, that serves a distinct function during this stage. In Themis(-/-) mice, thymocyte selection was impaired and the number of transitional CD4(+)CD8(int) thymocytes as well as CD4(+) or CD8(+) single-positive thymocytes was lower. Notably, although we detected no overt TCR-proximal signaling deficiencies, Themis(-/-) CD4(+)CD8(int) thymocytes showed developmental defects consistent with attenuated signaling that were reversible by TCR stimulation. Our results identify Themis as a critical component of the T cell developmental program and suggest that Themis functions to sustain and/or integrate signals required for proper lineage commitment and maturation.

PMID:
19597498
PMCID:
PMC2848698
DOI:
10.1038/ni.1768
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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