Thymic selection of cytotoxic T cells independent of CD8 alpha-Lck association

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Science  17 Sep 1993:
Vol. 261, Issue 5128, pp. 1581-1584
DOI: 10.1126/science.8372352


The CD8 alpha cytoplasmic domain associates with p56lck, a nonreceptor protein-tyrosine kinase. The biological relevance of CD8 alpha-Lck association in T cell development was tested with transgenic mice generated to express a CD8 alpha molecule with two amino acid substitutions in its cytoplasmic domain, which abolishes the association of CD8 alpha with Lck. The CD8 alpha mutant was analyzed in a CD8-/- background and in the context of the transgenic 2C T cell receptor. The development and function of CD8+ T cells in these mice were apparently normal. Thus, CD8 alpha-Lck association is not necessary for positive selection, negative selection, or CD8-dependent cytotoxic function.