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Immunity. 1994 Jul;1(4):261-7.

An activated lck transgene promotes thymocyte development in RAG-1 mutant mice.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Department of Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge 02139.


Expression of the T cell receptor beta (TCR beta) chain is necessary for the transition from the CD4CD8- stage in the major alpha beta thymocyte lineage. The protein tyrosine kinase p56lck has been implicated in the regulation of early thymocyte differentiation and of allelic exclusion at the TCR beta locus. Using mice overexpressing an activated lck transgene and mice with a disruption of the lck gene, we demonstrate that p56lck participates in a pathway that regulates the expansion of the pool of CD4+CD8+ thymocytes to wild-type levels. In addition, p56lck may be involved in the down-regulation of the putative pre-TCR on CD4+CD8+ thymocytes.

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