A Guardian of T Cell Fate

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Science  02 Jul 2010:
Vol. 329, Issue 5987, pp. 44-45
DOI: 10.1126/science.1191664

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Within the human hematopoietic system that gives rise to all blood cell types, the generation of lymphocytes—T cells, B cells, and natural killer cells—is orchestrated at the early developmental stages, when progenitor cells selectively block alternative developmental pathways (for example, erythroid and myeloid) to become lymphoid-committed (1). On pages 89, 93, and 85 of this issue, L. Li et al., Ikawa et al., and P. Li et al., respectively, identify the transcription factor Bcl11b as a critical determinant of this exclusion process during T cell specification (24).