Immunologic Research

, Volume 49, Issue 1–3, pp 192–201 | Cite as

Orchestrating T-cell receptor α gene assembly through changes in chromatin structure and organization

  • Han-Yu Shih
  • Bingtao Hao
  • Michael S. KrangelEmail author


V(D)J recombination is regulated through changes in chromatin structure that allow recombinase proteins access to recombination signal sequences and through changes in three-dimensional chromatin organization that bring pairs of distant recombination signal sequences into proximity. The Tcra/Tcrd locus is complex and undergoes distinct recombination programs in double negative and double positive thymocytes that lead to the assembly of Tcrd and Tcra genes, respectively. Our studies provide insights into how locus chromatin structure is regulated and how changes in locus chromatin structure can target and then retarget the recombinase to create developmental progressions of recombination events. Our studies also reveal distinct locus conformations in double negative and double positive thymocytes and suggest how these conformations may support the distinct recombination programs in the two compartments.


T-cell receptor Chromatin V(D)J recombination T lymphocyte 



Work in the authors’ laboratory was supported by NIH grant R37 GM41052.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ImmunologyDuke University Medical CenterDurhamUSA

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