Regulation of T-cell Receptor Gene Expression by Three-Dimensional Locus Conformation and Enhancer Function

Alonso Rodríguez-Caparrós, Jesús Álvarez-Santiago, María Jesús del Valle-Pastor, Carlos Suñé, Jennifer López-Ros, Cristina Hernández-Munain
2020 International Journal of Molecular Sciences  
The adaptive immune response in vertebrates depends on the expression of antigen-specific receptors in lymphocytes. T-cell receptor (TCR) gene expression is exquisitely regulated during thymocyte development to drive the generation of αβ and γδ T lymphocytes. The TCRα, TCRβ, TCRγ, and TCRδ genes exist in two different configurations, unrearranged and rearranged. A correctly rearranged configuration is required for expression of a functional TCR chain. TCRs can take the form of one of three
more » ... ble heterodimers, pre-TCR, TCRαβ, or TCRγδ which drive thymocyte maturation into αβ or γδ T lymphocytes. To pass from an unrearranged to a rearranged configuration, global and local three dimensional (3D) chromatin changes must occur during thymocyte development to regulate gene segment accessibility for V(D)J recombination. During this process, enhancers play a critical role by modifying the chromatin conformation and triggering noncoding germline transcription that promotes the recruitment of the recombination machinery. The different signaling that thymocytes receive during their development controls enhancer activity. Here, we summarize the dynamics of long-distance interactions established through chromatin regulatory elements that drive transcription and V(D)J recombination and how different signaling pathways are orchestrated to regulate the activity of enhancers to precisely control TCR gene expression during T-cell maturation.
doi:10.3390/ijms21228478 pmid:33187197 fatcat:d6h5qeutvbfebdgajjtgojvl2q