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Immunol Rev. 1998 Oct;165:131-47.

Developmental regulation of V(D)J recombination at the TCR alpha/delta locus.

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Department of Immunology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710, USA.


The T-cell receptor (TCR) alpha/delta locus includes a large number of V, D, J and C gene segments that are used to produce functional TCR delta and TCR alpha chains expressed by distinct subsets of T lymphocytes. V(D)J recombination events within the locus are regulated as a function of developmental stage and cell lineage during T-lymphocyte differentiation in the thymus. The process of V(D)J recombination is regulated by cis-acting elements that modulate the accessibility of chromosomal substrates to the recombinase. Here we evaluate how the assembly of transcription factor complexes onto enhancers, promoters and other regulatory elements within the TCR alpha/delta locus imparts developmental control to VDJ delta and VJ alpha rearrangement events. Furthermore, we develop the notion that within a complex locus such as the TCR alpha/delta locus, highly localized and region-specific control is likely to require an interplay between positive regulatory elements and blocking or boundary elements that restrict the influence of the positive elements to defined regions of the locus.

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