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Immunity. 1996 Oct;5(4):331-42.

Defect in rearrangement of the most 5' TCR-J alpha following targeted deletion of T early alpha (TEA): implications for TCR alpha locus accessibility.

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Développement Normal et Pathologique du Système Immunitaire, INSERM U429, Hôpital Necker-Enfants Malades, Paris, France.


To address the role of the TEA germline transcription, which initiates upstream of the TCR-J alpha S, in the regulation of TCR-J alpha locus accessibility, we created a mouse in which this region has been removed by homologous recombination. Normal development of T alpha beta cells and the expression of other TCR alpha germline transcripts in TEA-/- mice ruled out an exclusive role for TEA in the overall accessibility of the J alpha cluster. However, the rearrangement of the most 5' J alpha (J alpha 61 to J alpha 53) was severely impaired, indicating that TEA may control the DNA accessibility of a particular J alpha window. Moreover, the relative usage of every J alpha segment was affected. These results are consistent with TEA acting as a "rearrangement-focusing" element, targeting the primary waves of V alpha-J alpha recombination to the most 5' J alpha S in an ongoing TCR-J alpha rearrangement model.

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