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Thymocyte Development in the Absence of Pre-T Cell Receptor Extracellular Immunoglobulin Domains

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Science  08 May 1998:
Vol. 280, Issue 5365, pp. 905-908
DOI: 10.1126/science.280.5365.905

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Abstract

Immature thymocytes express a pre–T cell receptor (pre-TCR) composed of the TCRβ chain paired with pre-Tα. Signals from this receptor are essential for passage of thymocytes through a key developmental checkpoint in the thymus. These signals were efficiently delivered in vivo by a truncated form of the murine pre-TCR that lacked all of its extracellular immunoglobulin domains. De novo expression of the truncated pre-TCR or an intact αβTCR was sufficient to activate characteristic TCR signaling pathways in a T cell line. These findings support the view that recognition of an extracellular ligand is not required for pre-TCR function.

  • * To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: nigel{at}itsa.ucsf.edu

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