TCF-1, a T cell-specific transcription factor of the HMG box family, interacts with sequence motifs in the TCR beta and TCR delta enhancers

Int Immunol. 1991 Nov;3(11):1189-92. doi: 10.1093/intimm/3.11.1189.


We have recently identified and cloned TCF-1, a T cell-specific transcription factor with specificity for the AACAAAG motif in the CD3 epsilon enhancer and for the TTCAAAG motif in the TCR alpha enhancer. TCF-1 belongs to the family of transcription-regulating proteins which share a region of homology termed the HMG-box. Here, we show by gel retardation analysis that TCF-1 specifically recognizes the T beta 5 element of the TCR beta enhancer and the T delta 7 element of the TCR delta enhancer. Comparison of the sequences of all elements recognized by TCF-1 defines a consensus motif A/T A/T C A A/G A G. These observations imply that TCF-1 is involved in the control of several T cell-specific genes and might thus play an important role in the establishment and maintenance of the mature T cell phenotype.

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • Binding Sites
  • Cell Differentiation
  • DNA / genetics
  • DNA / metabolism
  • Enhancer Elements, Genetic*
  • High Mobility Group Proteins / genetics
  • Humans
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta / genetics*
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, gamma-delta / genetics*
  • Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid
  • T-Lymphocytes / cytology
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism*


  • High Mobility Group Proteins
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, gamma-delta
  • Transcription Factors
  • DNA