Regulation of T-cell progenitor survival and cell-cycle entry by the pre-T-cell receptor

Immunol Rev. 2006 Feb;209:159-69. doi: 10.1111/j.0105-2896.2006.00343.x.


Pre-T-cell receptor (pre-TCR) functions and the study of early thymocyte development continue to fascinate immunologists more than 10 years after the first description and cloning of the receptor. Although multiple reports have addressed several aspects of pre-TCR signaling and function, its ability to regulate diverse functions, including proliferation, survival, and allelic exclusion of the TCR-beta locus, remains an open question. What fascinates us is its central role in the fine balance between physiological differentiation and thymocyte transformation that leads to T-cell leukemia and lymphomas. In this review, we integrate pre-TCR signaling pathways and study their effects on the regulation of T-cell progenitor cell-cycle entry and cell survival. We also connect aberrant pre-TCR signaling to deregulated proliferation and apoptotic balances and thymocyte transformation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Cycle*
  • Cell Survival
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic / genetics
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic / metabolism
  • Gene Rearrangement, beta-Chain T-Cell Antigen Receptor
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Leukemia-Lymphoma, Adult T-Cell / genetics
  • Leukemia-Lymphoma, Adult T-Cell / metabolism
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta / genetics
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta / physiology*
  • Signal Transduction
  • T-Lymphocytes / cytology*
  • Thymus Gland / cytology*
  • Thymus Gland / metabolism


  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta