- Immature T cells, known as thymocytes, undergo development through successive stages in the thymus and the periphery to become functional mature T cells. These stages are regulated by sequence specific transcription factors (SSTFs). Two such SSTFs, BCL11B and TCF-1, are both known master regulators of thymopoiesis, which is also known as T cell development. Loss or mutation of either SSTF has been known to cause improper maturation of thymocytes and have been present in T cell leukemias and lymphomas. Each SSTF has been well-studied individually, but their interaction with each other has yet to be explored. Understanding the interaction between these two proteins can highlight potential new treatments for T-ALL.
Through ChIP-seq (Chromatin immunoprecipitation and sequencing) analysis and a survey of the literature, the BCL-xL (bcl2l1) gene was chosen as a target gene on which to characterize the interaction of BCL11B and TCF-1 through the use of a Luciferase Assay. The interaction between BCL11B and TCF-1 in the presence of the BCL-xL gene can be described as inhibitory. The presence of both transcription factors with the reporter construct lead to a decrease in luminosity, compared to luminosity measured in the presence of BCL11B only.
Keywords: Thymopoiesis, TCF-1, BCL11B, BCL-xL, Luciferase Assay