The CD3-gammadeltaepsilon and CD3-zeta/eta modules are each essential for allelic exclusion at the T cell receptor beta locus but are both dispensable for the initiation of V to (D)J recombination at the T cell receptor-beta, -gamma, and -delta loci

L Ardouin, J Ismaili, B Malissen, M Malissen
Journal of Experimental Medicine 1998 January 5, 187 (1): 105-16
The pre-T cell receptor (TCR) associates with CD3-transducing subunits and triggers the selective expansion and maturation of T cell precursors expressing a TCR-beta chain. Recent experiments in pre-Talpha chain-deficient mice have suggested that the pre-TCR may not be required for signaling allelic exclusion at the TCR-beta locus. Using CD3-epsilon- and CD3-zeta/eta-deficient mice harboring a productively rearranged TCR-beta transgene, we showed that the CD3-gammadeltaepsilon and CD3-zeta/eta modules, and by inference the pre-TCR/CD3 complex, are each essential for the establishment of allelic exclusion at the endogenous TCR-beta locus. Furthermore, using mutant mice lacking both the CD3-epsilon and CD3-zeta/eta genes, we established that the CD3 gene products are dispensable for the onset of V to (D)J recombination (V, variable; D, diversity; J, joining) at the TCR-beta, TCR-gamma, and TCR-delta loci. Thus, the CD3 components are differentially involved in the sequential events that make the TCR-beta locus first accessible to, and later insulated from, the action of the V(D)J recombinase.

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