Regulation of T cell receptor beta gene rearrangements and allelic exclusion by the helix-loop-helix protein, E47

Immunity. 2007 Dec;27(6):871-84. doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2007.11.015.


Allelic exclusion of antigen-receptor genes is ensured primarily by monoallelic locus activation upon rearrangement and subsequently by feedback inhibition of continued rearrangement. Here, we demonstrated that the basic helix-loop-helix protein, E47, promoted T cell receptor beta (TCRbeta) gene rearrangement by directly binding to target gene segments to increase chromatin accessibility in a dosage-sensitive manner. Feedback signaling abrogated E47 binding, leading to a decline in accessibility. Conversely, enforced expression of E47 induced TCRbeta gene rearrangement by antagonizing feedback inhibition. Thus, the abundance of E47 is rate limiting in locus activation, and feedback signaling downregulates E47 activity to ensure allelic exclusion.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Animals
  • Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factors / physiology
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / physiology
  • Feedback, Physiological
  • Gene Rearrangement, T-Lymphocyte*
  • Genes, T-Cell Receptor beta*
  • Mice
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / physiology
  • Signal Transduction
  • T-Lymphocytes / physiology
  • TCF Transcription Factors / physiology*
  • Transcription Factor 7-Like 1 Protein


  • Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factors
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell
  • TCF Transcription Factors
  • Tcf12 protein, mouse
  • Tcf3 protein, mouse
  • Tcf7l1 protein, mouse
  • Transcription Factor 7-Like 1 Protein