-Catenin Regulates Positive Selection of Thymocytes but Not Lineage Commitment

Yu, Q.; Sen, J.M.

The Journal of Immunology 178(8): 5028-5034


DOI: 10.4049/jimmunol.178.8.5028
Accession: 068490615

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Positive selection and lineage commitment to the cytolytic or helper lineage of T cells result in coordinated expression of MHC class I-restricted TCR and CD8 coreceptor or MHC class II-restricted TCR and CD4 molecule. Positive selection signals also regulate the survival and generation of requisite numbers of cytolytic or Th cells. beta-Catenin is the major transcriptional cofactor of T cell factor and plays a role in thymocyte development. In this study, using mice expressing stabilized beta-catenin and mice with T cell-specific deletion of beta-catenin, we show that beta-catenin regulates positive selection, but not lineage commitment of thymocytes. Furthermore, beta-catenin expression accelerates the timing of mature CD8 thymocyte generation such that CD4 and CD8 single-positive thymocytes mature with the same kinetics during development.