Defining the specific physiological requirements for c-Myc in T cell development

Nat Immunol. 2001 Apr;2(4):307-15. doi: 10.1038/86308.


c-Myc is associated with cell growth and cycling in many tissues and its deregulated expression is causally implicated in cancer, particularly lymphomagenesis. However, the contribution of c-Myc to lymphocyte development is unresolved. We show here that the formation of normal lymphocytes by c-Myc-/- cells is selectively defective. c-Myc-/- cells are inefficient, in an age-dependent manner, at populating the thymus, and subsequent thymocyte maturation is ineffective: they fail to grow and proliferate normally at the late double-negative (DN) CD4-CD8- stage. Because N-Myc expression in thymocytes usually declines at the late DN stage, these results confirm that the nonredundant contributions of Myc family members to development are related to their distinct patterns of developmental gene expression.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Division
  • Chimera / genetics
  • Chimera / immunology
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Genes, RAG-1
  • Genes, myc
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-myc / genetics
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-myc / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes / cytology
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Thymus Gland / cytology
  • Thymus Gland / immunology


  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-myc