The function of E- and Id proteins in lymphocyte development

Nat Rev Immunol. 2001 Dec;1(3):193-9. doi: 10.1038/35105060.


Helix-loop-helix proteins are essential factors for lymphocyte development and function. In particular, E-proteins are crucial for commitment of lymphoid progenitors to the B- and T-cell lineages. E-proteins are negatively regulated by the Id class of helix-loop-helix proteins. The Id proteins function as dominant-negative inhibitors of E-proteins by inhibiting their ability to bind DNA. Here, we review the role of E-proteins and their Id protein antagonists in lymphocyte proliferation and developmental progression. In addition, we discuss how E-protein activity and Id gene expression are regulated by T-cell receptor (TCR) and pre-TCR-mediated signalling.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factors
  • Cell Division
  • Cell Survival
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics*
  • Helix-Loop-Helix Motifs / genetics
  • Humans
  • Inhibitor of Differentiation Protein 1
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Lymphocytes / cytology
  • Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • Models, Immunological
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / metabolism
  • Repressor Proteins*
  • Signal Transduction
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Transcription Factors / genetics*


  • Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factors
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • ID1 protein, human
  • Inhibitor of Differentiation Protein 1
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell
  • Repressor Proteins
  • TCF3 protein, human
  • Transcription Factors