Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.447, No.1, 44-50, 2014
Pontin is required for pre-TCR signaling at the beta-selection checkpoint in T cell development
Pontin is a chromatin remodeling factor that possesses both ATPase and DNA helicase activities. Based on high expression in lymphoid tissues, we examined whether Pontin has a T cell-specific function. We generated Ponting(f/f);Lck-Cre mice, in which Pontin can be conditionally deleted in T cells and then explored T cell-specific function of Pontin in vivo. Here, we show that specific abrogation of Pontin expression in T cells almost completely blocked development of alpha beta T cells at the beta-selection checkpoint by inducing cell apoptosis indicating that Pontin is essential for early T cell development. Pontin-deficient thymocytes show a comparable expression level of T cell receptor (TCR)beta chain, but have enhanced activation of p53 and Notch signaling compared to wild-type thymocytes. Intriguingly, the developmental block of alpha beta T cells can be partially rescued by loss of p53. Together, our data demonstrate a novel role of Pontin as a crucial regulator in pre-TCR signaling during T cell development. (C) 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.