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Nature. 1989 Dec 21-28;342(6252):931-4.

Blockage of alpha beta T-cell development by TCR gamma delta transgenes.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139.


T lymphocytes recognize antigens by means of T-cell receptors (TCR) composed of alpha beta or gamma delta heterodimers. The mechanism governing the development of alpha beta- and gamma delta-bearing T cells from a common precursor T cell is so far unknown. It has been proposed that T-cell precursors rearrange their gamma- and delta-chain genes first, and alpha beta T cells are generated only from those cells that fail to rearrange productively both gamma- and delta-chain genes. Our recent study on gamma delta-transgenic mice contradicted this hypothesis, however, and indicated that repression of gamma-chain gene expression mediated by a transcriptional silencer element has a critical role in the generation of alpha beta T cells. Here we report that the generation of alpha beta T cells is severely blocked in transgenic mice carrying gamma- and delta-chain transgenes without the associated silencer, thereby strengthening the validity of the silencer model of T-cell development.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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