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Ikaros is a transcriptional regulator critical for B- and T-cell development. Recently, it has been shown to play a central role in facilitating rearrangement of antigen-receptor genes in B cells. Whether or not it had a similar function in this process in T cells, however, was a mystery. In this issue of the European Journal of Immunology, a role for Ikaros in T-cell receptor (TCR) rearrangement and expression of TCR-α chain genes is revealed in the study by Collins et al. [Eur. J. Immunol. 2013. 43: 521-532]. Ikaros functions in this capacity as an "accessibility factor," facilitating increased TCR-α chain gene transcription and accessibility of the locus to promote rearrangement. Interestingly, this study has also revealed differences in the mechanisms by which Ikaros promotes antigen-receptor rearrangement in B versus T cells, thereby suggesting that Ikaros may have lineage-specific functions in coordinating antigen-receptor rearrangement. © 2013 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.


Susan Winandy. Ikaros to the rescue of TCR-α chain gene rearrangement. European journal of immunology. 2013 Feb;43(2):314-7

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PMID: 23299235

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