Thymic epithelial cell differentiation, growth and function depend on the expression of the transcription factor Foxn1; however, its target genes have never been physically identified. Using static and inducible genetic model systems and chromatin studies, we developed a genome-wide map of direct Foxn1 target genes for postnatal thymic epithelia and defined the Foxn1 binding motif. We determined the function of Foxn1 in these cells and found that, in addition to the transcriptional control of genes involved in the attraction and lineage commitment of T cell precursors, Foxn1 regulates the expression of genes involved in antigen processing and thymocyte selection. Thus, critical events in thymic lympho-stromal cross-talk and T cell selection are indispensably choreographed by Foxn1.
1206 - 1215
Animals, Antigen Presentation, Cell Communication, Cell Differentiation, Cell Lineage, Cells, Cultured, Clonal Selection, Antigen-Mediated, Epithelial Cells, Forkhead Transcription Factors, Gene Expression Regulation, Genome, Mice, Mice, Inbred C57BL, Mice, Mutant Strains, Mice, Transgenic, Precursor Cells, T-Lymphoid, T-Lymphocytes, Thymus Gland