During specific stages of thymocyte development, the T cell receptor (TCR) locus is assembled from variable (V), diversity (D), and joining (J) gene segments. Proper TCR γ and δ V(D)J rearrangement during thymocyte development requires the presence of the E2A proteins. Here we show that E2A and a closely related protein, HEB, in the presence of recombination activating gene (RAG)1 and RAG2, each have the ability to activate TCR γ and δ rearrangement in human kidney cells. The coding joints are diverse, contain nucleotide deletions, and occasionally show the presence of P nucleotides. Interestingly, only a subset of V, D, and J segments are targeted by the E2A and HEB proteins. Thus, E2A and HEB permit localized accessibility of the TCR γ and δ loci to the recombination machinery. These data indicate that a distinct but diverse TCR repertoire can be induced in nonlymphoid cells by the mere presence of the V(D)J recombinase and the transcriptional regulators, E2A and HEB.
Ghosh, J. K., Romanow, W. J., & Murre, C. (2001). Induction of a diverse T cell receptor γ/δ repertoire by the helix-loop-helix proteins E2A and HEB in nonlymphoid cells. Journal of Experimental Medicine, 193(6), 769–775. https://doi.org/10.1084/jem.193.6.769