The transcription factor GATA3 is essential at multiple stages of T cell development, including the earliest double-negative stages, β-selection and CD4 single-positive thymocytes. Here, we show that in CD2-GATA3 transgenic mice, with enforced GATA3 expression driven by the CD2 promoter, thymocytes have reduced levels of CD5, which is a negative regulator of TCR signaling participating in TCR repertoire fine-tuning. Reduction of CD5 expression was most prominent in CD4+CD8+double-positive (DP) cells and was associated with increased levels of the transcription factor E2A. Conversely, GATA3-deficient DP thymocytes showed consistently higher CD5 levels and defective TCR up-regulation during their development towards the CD4loCD8losubpopulation. CD2-GATA3 transgenic mice carrying the MHC class II-restricted TCR D011.10 also manifested decreased CD5 levels. As in these TCR-transgenic mice reduced CD5 expression cannot result from an effect of GATA3 on repertoire selection, we conclude that enforced GATA3 interferes with the developmentally regulated increase of CD5 levels. Enforced GATA3 expression in D011.10 transgenic mice was also accompanied by enhanced TCR expression during CD4 positive selection. Because GATA3 is induced by TCR signaling in DP thymocytes, our findings indicate that GATA3 establishes a positive feedback loop that increases TCR surface expression in developing CD4 lineage cells.

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European Journal of Immunology
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Ling, K.-W., van Hamburg, J. P., de Bruijn, M., Kurek, D., Dingjan, G., & Hendriks, R. (2007). GATA3 controls the expression of CD5 and the T cell receptor during CD4 T cell lineage development. European Journal of Immunology, 37(4), 1043–1052. doi:10.1002/eji.200636485