Identification and cloning of TCF-1, a T lymphocyte-specific transcription factor containing a sequence-specific HMG box

EMBO J. 1991 Jan;10(1):123-32.


CD3-epsilon expression is controlled by a downstream T lymphocyte-specific enhancer element. We report the identification of a T cell-specific transcription factor, TCF-1, binding to this element. The multimerized recognition motif of TCF-1 constituted a T cell-specific enhancer. Subsequent cloning of TCF-1 identified three splice alternatives. TCF-1 contained a single DNA-binding HMG box most closely related to similar boxes in the putative mammalian sex-determining gene SRY and in the Schizosaccharomyces pombe Mc mating type gene. TCF-1 mRNA was expressed uniquely in T lymphocytes. Upon cotransfection into non-T cells, TCF-1 could transactivate through its cognate motif. These results identify TCF-1 as a T cell-specific transcription factor, which might play a role in the establishment of the mature T cell phenotype.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Base Sequence
  • Binding Sites
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • Enhancer Elements, Genetic*
  • Escherichia coli / genetics
  • Humans
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Oligonucleotide Probes
  • RNA Splicing
  • Recombinant Proteins / metabolism
  • Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid
  • T Cell Transcription Factor 1
  • T-Lymphocytes / metabolism*
  • Transcription Factors / genetics*
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Oligonucleotide Probes
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • T Cell Transcription Factor 1
  • TCF7 protein, human
  • Transcription Factors

Associated data

  • GENBANK/M55400
  • GENBANK/M55401
  • GENBANK/M55402
  • GENBANK/M65224
  • GENBANK/S60919
  • GENBANK/S60920
  • GENBANK/X59082
  • GENBANK/X59869
  • GENBANK/X59870
  • GENBANK/X59871