Extensive RNA editing and splicing increase immune self-representation diversity in medullary thymic epithelial cells

Abstract : Background: In order to become functionally competent but harmless mediators of the immune system, T cells undergo a strict educational program in the thymus, where they learn to discriminate between self and non-self. This educational program is, to a large extent, mediated by medullary thymic epithelial cells that have a unique capacity to express, and subsequently present, a large fraction of body antigens. While the scope of promiscuously expressed genes by medullary thymic epithelial cells is well-established, relatively little is known about the expression of variants that are generated by co-transcriptional and post-transcriptional processes. Results: Our study reveals that in comparison to other cell types, medullary thymic epithelial cells display significantly higher levels of alternative splicing, as well as A-to-I and C-to-U RNA editing, which thereby further expand the diversity of their self-antigen repertoire. Interestingly, Aire, the key mediator of promiscuous gene expression in these cells, plays a limited role in the regulation of these transcriptional processes.
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Genome Biology, BioMed Central, 2016, 17 (1), pp.219. 〈10.1186/s13059-016-1079-9〉
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Miri Danan-Gotthold, Clotilde Guyon, Matthieu Giraud, Erez Levanon, Jakub Abramson. Extensive RNA editing and splicing increase immune self-representation diversity in medullary thymic epithelial cells. Genome Biology, BioMed Central, 2016, 17 (1), pp.219. 〈10.1186/s13059-016-1079-9〉. 〈inserm-01399345〉

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