Critical roles for transcription factor GATA-3 in thymocyte development

Immunity. 2003 Dec;19(6):863-75. doi: 10.1016/s1074-7613(03)00328-5.


The transcription factor GATA-3 is expressed at every stage of thymic development, but its role in thymocyte differentiation is unknown. The fact that RAG chimeric animals lacking GATA-3 cannot generate early thymocytes from common lymphoid progenitors has thus far precluded investigation of the function of GATA-3 in the thymus. To address this, we generated mice deficient in GATA-3 at early and late stages of thymic differentiation. Our studies revealed that GATA-3 is involved in beta selection and is indispensable for single-positive CD4 thymocyte development. Thus, our data demonstrate that the coordinated and regulated expression of GATA-3 at each stage of thymic development is critical for the generation of mature T cells.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / physiology
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / deficiency
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • GATA3 Transcription Factor
  • Mice
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / deficiency
  • Thymus Gland / metabolism*
  • Trans-Activators / deficiency
  • Trans-Activators / metabolism*


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • GATA3 Transcription Factor
  • Gata3 protein, mouse
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell
  • Trans-Activators