Notch activity influences the alphabeta versus gammadelta T cell lineage decision

T Washburn, E Schweighoffer, T Gridley, D Chang, B J Fowlkes, D Cado, E Robey
Cell 1997 March 21, 88 (6): 833-43
The choice between the alphabeta or gammadelta T cell fates is influenced by the production of functional, in-frame rearrangements of the TCR genes, but the mechanism that controls the lineage choice is not known. Here, we show that T cells that are heterozygous for a mutation of the Notch1 gene are more likely to develop as gammadelta T cells than as alphabeta T cells, implying that reduced Notch activity favors the gammadelta T cell fate over the alphabeta T cell fate. A constitutively activated form of Notch produces a reciprocal phenotype and induces thymocytes that have functional gammadeltaTCR gene rearrangements to adopt the alphabeta T cell fate. Our data indicate that Notch acts together with the newly formed T cell antigen receptor to direct the alphabeta versus gammadelta T cell lineage decision.


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