Regulation of SATB1 during thymocyte development by TCR signaling

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T lymphocyte development and differentiation is a multi-step process that begins in the thymus and completed in the periphery. Sequential development of thymocytes is dependent on T cell receptor (TCR) signaling and an array of transcription factors. In this study we show that special AT-rich binding protein 1 (SATB1), a T lineage-enriched chromatin organizer and regulator, is induced in response to TCR signaling during early thymocyte development. SATB1 expression profile coincides with T lineage commitment and upregulation of SATB1 correlates with positive selection of thymocytes. CD4 thymocytes exhibit a characteristic bimodal expression pattern that corresponds to immature and mature CD4 thymocytes. We also demonstrate that GATA3, the key transcriptional regulator of αβ T cells positively regulates SATB1 expression in thymocytes suggesting an important role for SATB1 during T cell development.

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