Genes that code for T cell signaling proteins establish transcriptional regulatory networks during thymus ontogeny

Mol Cell Biochem. 2008 Nov;318(1-2):63-71. doi: 10.1007/s11010-008-9857-7. Epub 2008 Jul 3.


Gene expression profiling by cDNA microarrays during murine thymus ontogeny has contributed to dissecting the large-scale molecular genetics of T cell maturation. Gene profiling, although useful for characterizing the thymus developmental phases and identifying the differentially expressed genes, does not permit the determination of possible interactions between genes. In order to reconstruct genetic interactions, on RNA level, within thymocyte differentiation, a pair of microarrays containing a total of 1,576 cDNA sequences derived from the IMAGE MTB library was applied on samples of developing thymuses (14-17 days of gestation). The data were analyzed using the GeneNetwork program. Genes that were previously identified as differentially expressed during thymus ontogeny showed their relationships with several other genes. The present method provided the detection of gene nodes coding for proteins implicated in the calcium signaling pathway, such as Prrg2 and Stxbp3, and in protein transport toward the cell membrane, such as Gosr2. The results demonstrate the feasibility of reconstructing networks based on cDNA microarray gene expression determinations, contributing to a clearer understanding of the complex interactions between genes involved in thymus/thymocyte development.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Regulatory Networks / genetics*
  • Mice
  • Signal Transduction / genetics*
  • T-Lymphocytes / metabolism*
  • Thymus Gland / cytology*
  • Thymus Gland / embryology*