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Immunity. 1997 Nov;7(5):601-7.

Essential role of the pre-T cell receptor in allelic exclusion of the T cell receptor beta locus.

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Institut Necker, Institut National de la Santé et Recherche Medicale, 373, Paris, France.

Erratum in

  • Immunity 1997 Dec;7(6):following 895.


Following the recent realization that TCR beta transgenes can severely inhibit the rearrangement of endogenous Vbeta gene segments in the absence of pre-TCR alpha (pT alpha) chains, we tested whether the pre-TCR has an essential role in TCR beta allelic exclusion under more physiological conditions by analyzing TCR rearrangement in immature thymocytes by single-cell PCR. Our results in pT alpha+ mice are consistent with an ordered model of TCR beta rearrangement beginning on one allele and continuing on the other only when the first attempt is unsuccessful. By contrast, a higher proportion of thymocytes from pT alpha-/- mice exhibited two productive TCR beta alleles. Thus, the pre-TCR-independent suppression of rearrangement by TCR beta transgenes represents a transgene artifact, whereas under physiological conditions the pre-TCR is essential for allelic exclusion.

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