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The Last Checkpoint to T Cell Fate
Date:7/1/2010

velop. Testing of various conditions revealed that reduction of the cytokine interleukin-7 (IL-7), possibly corresponding to an environmental signal in the thymus, triggered resumption of development and differentiation into T cells.

Placing the final piece in the puzzle, the researchers discovered that T cell progenitors in the thymus from mice deficient in the gene Bcl11b exhibited the same halted development and self-renewal cycle, while further experiments connected up-regulation of the transcription factor encoded by this gene to IL-7 levels. Together, the findings identify Bcl11b as a “master gene” governing the final step toward differentiation into T cells, confirming the proposed model and heralding a paradigm shift in our understanding of blood cell lineages.

For more information, please contact:

Dr. Hiroshi Kawamoto
Laboratory for Lymphocyte Development
RIKEN Research Center for Allergy and Immunology (RCAI)
Tel: +81-(0)45-503-7010 / Fax: +81-(0)45-503-7009

Ms. Tomoko Ikawa (PI officer)
Global Relations Office
RIKEN
Tel: +81-(0)48-462-1225 / Fax: +81-(0)48-462-4715

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Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2010/07/prweb4217914.htm.


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