Note to users. If you're seeing this message, it means that your browser cannot find this page's style/presentation instructions -- or possibly that you are using a browser that does not support current Web standards. Find out more about why this message is appearing, and what you can do to make your experience of our site the best it can be.


Sci. Signal., 12 February 2008
Vol. 1, Issue 6, p. ec57
[DOI: 10.1126/stke.16ec57]


Immunology Tipping the Balance in T Cell Decisions

Stephen J. Simpson

Science, AAAS, Cambridge CB2 1LQ, UK

In the thymus, key developmental decisions are made that have far-reaching consequences for the immune system, perhaps most notable the commitment of thymocytes to becoming CD4 (helper) or CD8 (cytotoxic) T cells. The transcriptional factor Th-POK commits thymocytes that still express both CD4 and CD8 co-receptors to becoming CD4 T cells, but how is the alternate developmental option generated? Setoguchi et al. find that cells that would otherwise be destined to become CD8+ T cells can be redirected to the CD4 lineage by loss of members of another transcription factor family, Runx. It seems that under normal circumstances, the Runx complex represses Th-POK expression and allows CD8 T cells to emerge.

R. Setoguchi, M. Tachibana, Y. Naoe, S. Muroi, K. Akiyama, C. Tezuka, T. Okuda, I. Taniuchi, Repression of the transcription factor Th-POK by Runx complexes in cytotoxic T cell development. Science 319, 822-825 (2008). [Abstract] [Full Text]

Citation: S. J. Simpson, Tipping the Balance in T Cell Decisions. Sci. Signal. 1, ec57 (2008).

To Advertise     Find Products

Science Signaling. ISSN 1937-9145 (online), 1945-0877 (print). Pre-2008: Science's STKE. ISSN 1525-8882