RORγt limits the amount of the cytokine receptor γc through the prosurvival factor Bcl-xL in developing thymocytes

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Science Signaling  28 Aug 2018:
Vol. 11, Issue 545, eaam8939
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.aam8939

Limiting cytokine signals

Thymocyte development in the thymus depends on signals transduced by the T cell receptor (TCR) and cytokine receptors, including those that share the common γ chain (γc). Prior to positive selection, CD4+CD8+ double-positive (DP) thymocytes reduce their cell surface abundance of γc so that their fate is determined by TCR signaling. Ligons et al. found that loss of the transcriptional regulator RORγt in mouse DP thymocytes was associated with increased γc surface abundance. Enforced expression of RORγt reduced the abundance of γc and normalized thymocyte development. RORγt had no effect on expression of the gene encoding γc. Instead, the RORγt effector molecule Bcl-xL was required to reduce γc abundance, highlighting an unappreciated role for survival factors in modulating cytokine signaling.

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