LKLF: A Transcriptional Regulator of Single-Positive T Cell Quiescence and Survival

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Science  26 Sep 1997:
Vol. 277, Issue 5334, pp. 1986-1990
DOI: 10.1126/science.277.5334.1986

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Mature single-positive (SP) T lymphocytes enter a “resting” state in which they are proliferatively quiescent and relatively resistant to apoptosis. The molecular mechanisms regulating this quiescent phenotype were unknown. Here it was found that the expression of a Kruppel-like zinc finger transcription factor, lung Kruppel-like factor (LKLF), is developmentally induced during the maturation of SP quiescent T cells and rapidly extinguished after SP T cell activation. LKLF-deficient T cells produced by gene targeting had a spontaneously activated phenotype and died in the spleen and lymph nodes from Fas ligand–induced apoptosis. Thus, LKLF is required to program the quiescent state of SP T cells and to maintain their viability in the peripheral lymphoid organs and blood.

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