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Myc controls a distinct transcriptional program in fetal thymic epithelial cells that determines thymus growth

Abstract : Abstract Interactions between thymic epithelial cells (TEC) and developing thymocytes are essential for T cell development, but molecular insights on TEC and thymus homeostasis are still lacking. Here we identify distinct transcriptional programs of TEC that account for their age-specific properties, including proliferation rates, engraftability and function. Further analyses identify Myc as a regulator of fetal thymus development to support the rapid increase of thymus size during fetal life. Enforced Myc expression in TEC induces the prolonged maintenance of a fetal-specific transcriptional program, which in turn extends the growth phase of the thymus and enhances thymic output; meanwhile, inducible expression of Myc in adult TEC similarly promotes thymic growth. Mechanistically, this Myc function is associated with enhanced ribosomal biogenesis in TEC. Our study thus identifies age-specific transcriptional programs in TEC, and establishes that Myc controls thymus size.
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Jennifer Cowan, Justin Malin, Yongge Zhao, Mina Seedhom, Christelle Harly, et al.. Myc controls a distinct transcriptional program in fetal thymic epithelial cells that determines thymus growth. Nature Communications, Nature Publishing Group, 2019, 10 (1), pp.5498. ⟨10.1038/s41467-019-13465-y⟩. ⟨inserm-03538368⟩

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