Assessing the role of the T cell receptor beta gene enhancer in regulating coding joint formation during V(D)J recombination.

Centre d'Immunologie de Marseille-Luminy, INSERM, CNRS, Université de la Méditerranée, 13288 Marseille, France.
Journal of Biological Chemistry (Impact Factor: 4.65). 06/2003; 278(20):18101-9. DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M212647200
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To assess the role of the T cell receptor (TCR) beta gene enhancer (Ebeta) in regulating the processing of VDJ recombinase-generated coding ends, we assayed TCRbeta rearrangement of Ebeta-deleted (DeltaEbeta) thymocytes in which cell death is inhibited via expression of a Bcl-2 transgene. Compared with DeltaEbeta, DeltaEbeta Bcl-2 thymocytes show a small accumulation of TCRbeta standard recombination products, including coding ends, that involves the proximal Dbeta-Jbeta and Vbeta14 loci but not the distal 5' Vbeta genes. These effects are detectable in double negative pro-T cells, predominate in double positive pre-T cells, and correlate with regional changes in chromosomal structure during double negative-to-double positive differentiation. We propose that Ebeta, by driving long range nucleoprotein interactions and the control of locus expression and chromatin structure, indirectly contributes to the stabilization of coding ends within the recombination processing complexes. The results also illustrate Ebeta-dependent and -independent changes in chromosomal structure, suggesting distinct modes of regulation of TCRbeta allelic exclusion depending on the position within the locus.

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