In this report, we show that the Src-like adaptor protein (SLAP) plays an important role in thymocyte development. SLAP expression is developmentally regulated; it is low in CD4-CD8- thymocytes, it peaks in the CD4+CD8+ subset, and it decreases to low levels in more mature cells. Disruption of the SLAP gene leads to a marked upregulation of TCR and CD5 expression at the CD4+CD8+ stage. The absence of SLAP was also developmentally significant because it enhanced positive selection in mice expressing the DO11.10 transgenic T cell receptor. Moreover, SLAP deletion at least partially rescued the development of ZAP-70-deficient thymocytes. These results demonstrate that SLAP participates in a novel mechanism of TCR downregulation at the CD4+CD8+ stage and regulates positive selection.
Sosinowski, T., Killeen, N., & Weiss, A. (2001). The Src-like adaptor protein downregulates the T cell receptor on CD4+CD8+ thymocytes and regulates positive selection. Immunity, 15(3), 457–466. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1074-7613(01)00195-9