Deletion of beta-catenin impairs T cell development

Nat Immunol. 2003 Dec;4(12):1177-82. doi: 10.1038/ni1008. Epub 2003 Nov 9.


T cells encounter two main checkpoints during development in the thymus. These checkpoints are critically dependent on signals derived from the thymic microenvironment as well as from the pre-T cell receptor (pre-TCR) and the alphabeta TCR. Here we show that T cell-specific deletion of beta-catenin impaired T cell development at the beta-selection checkpoint, leading to a substantial decrease in splenic T cells. In addition, beta-catenin also seemed to be a target of TCR-CD3 signals in thymocytes and mature T cells. These data indicate that beta-catenin-mediated signals are required for normal T cell development.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation / immunology*
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / deficiency*
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / genetics
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Gene Deletion
  • Immune System / growth & development
  • Immunity, Cellular / genetics*
  • Immunity, Cellular / physiology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / immunology
  • Spleen / cytology
  • T-Lymphocytes / physiology*
  • Trans-Activators / deficiency*
  • Trans-Activators / genetics
  • beta Catenin


  • CTNNB1 protein, mouse
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell
  • Trans-Activators
  • beta Catenin