A repertoire of T cells with diverse antigen receptors is selected in the thymus. However, detailed mechanisms underlying this thymic positive selection are not clear. Here we show that the CCR4-NOT complex limits expression of specific genes through deadenylation of mRNA poly(A) tails, enabling positive selection. Specifically, the CCR4-NOT complex is up-regulated in thymocytes before initiation of positive selection, where in turn, it inhibits up-regulation of pro-apoptotic Bbc3 and Dab2ip. Elimination of the CCR4-NOT complex permits up-regulation of Bbc3 during a later stage of positive selection, inducing thymocyte apoptosis. In addition, CCR4-NOT elimination up-regulates Dab2ip at an early stage of positive selection. Thus, CCR4-NOT might control thymocyte survival during two-distinct stages of positive selection by suppressing expression levels of pro-apoptotic molecules. Taken together, we propose a link between CCR4-NOT-mediated mRNA decay and T cell selection in the thymus.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)