The thymic function to produce self-protective and self-tolerant T cells is chiefly mediated by cortical thymic epithelial cells (cTECs) and medullary TECs (mTECs). Recent studies including single-cell transcriptomic analyses have highlighted a rich diversity in functional mTEC subpopulations. Because of their limited cellularity, however, the biochemical characterization of TECs, including the proteomic profiling of cTECs and mTECs, has remained unestablished. Utilizing genetically modified mice that carry enlarged but functional thymuses, here we show a combination of proteomic and transcriptomic profiles for cTECs and mTECs, which identified signature molecules that characterize a developmental and functional contrast between cTECs and mTECs. Our results reveal a highly specific impact of the thymoproteasome on proteasome subunit composition in cTECs and provide an integrated trans-omics platform for further exploration of thymus biology.
Keywords: Psmb11; cortical thymic epithelial cells; cyclin D1; medullary thymic epithelial cells; proteome; thymoproteasome; trans-omics.
Published by Elsevier Inc.