NFAT5 induction by the pre-T-cell receptor serves as a selective survival signal in T-lymphocyte development

  • Berga-Bolanos R
  • Alberdi M
  • Buxade M
 et al. 
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The Rel-like transcription factors nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) and the calcineurin-dependent nuclear factor of activated T cells (NFATc) control specific points of thymocyte maturation. Thymocytes also express a distinct member of the Rel family, the calcineurin-independent, osmostress response regulator NFAT5. Here we show that IKKβ regulates the expression of NFAT5 in thymocytes, which in turn contributes to the survival of T-cell receptor αβ thymocytes and the transition from the β-selection checkpoint to the double-positive stage in an osmostress-independent manner. NFAT5-deficient thymocytes had normal expression and proximal signaling of the pre-T-cell receptor but exhibited a partial defect in β-chain allelic exclusion and increased apoptosis. Further analysis showed that NFAT5 regulated the expression of the prosurvival factors A1 and Bcl2 and attenuated the proapoptotic p53/Noxa axis. These findings position NFAT5 as a target of the IKKβ/NF-κB pathway in thymocytes and as a downstream effector of the prosurvival role of the pre-T-cell receptor.

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  • R. Berga-Bolanos

  • M. Alberdi

  • M. Buxade

  • J. Aramburu

  • C. Lopez-Rodriguez

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