Transcriptional Control of T Lymphocyte Differentiation

Stem Cells. 2001;19(3):165-79. doi: 10.1634/stemcells.19-3-165.

Abstract

Initiation of gene transcription by transcription factors (TFs) is an important regulatory step in many developmental processes. The differentiation of T cell progenitors in the thymus is tightly controlled by signaling molecules, ultimately activating nuclear TFs that regulate the expression of T lineage-specific genes. During the last 2 years, significant progress has been made in our understanding of the signaling routes and TFs operating during the earliest stages of thymic differentiation at the CD4(-)CD8(-) double negative stage. Here we will review the TF families that play an important role in differentiation of thymocytes, particularly focusing on recent new information with respect to the Tcf, bHLH, GATA, and CBF/HES TF families.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factors
  • CD4 Antigens / biosynthesis
  • CD8 Antigens / biosynthesis
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Core Binding Factors
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / physiology
  • Humans
  • Lymphocytes / cytology*
  • Lymphocytes / physiology
  • Lymphoid Enhancer-Binding Factor 1
  • Membrane Proteins / physiology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Mutant Strains
  • Models, Biological
  • Neoplasm Proteins*
  • Receptors, Notch
  • Signal Transduction
  • Thymus Gland / cytology
  • Transcription Factors / physiology*
  • Transcription, Genetic*

Substances

  • Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factors
  • CD4 Antigens
  • CD8 Antigens
  • Core Binding Factors
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Lymphoid Enhancer-Binding Factor 1
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Receptors, Notch
  • Transcription Factors