Molecular events that underlie the well-defined phenotypic changes of the differentiating thymocyte are poorly understood. A candidate gene to control thymocyte differentiation, T cell factor-1 (TCF-1)* encodes a DNA-binding protein. Its mRNA expression pattern is complex during embryogenesis, yet restricted to lymphocytes postnatally. Expression studies on TCF-1 protein have been hampered by the difficulty to raise antibodies due to extreme evolutionary conservation. TCF-1 knock-out mice, generated recently in our laboratory, have strongly decreased numbers of thymocytes, but are otherwise normal. We have used these mice to generate anti-TCF-1 antibodies. By immunization with a recombinant fusion protein, we show that TCF-1 knock-out mice readily yield antiserum titers against human and mouse TCF-1 protein. Wild-type littermates remain unresponsive to TCF-1 while they mount a high-titer antibody response to the fusion protein, Maltose Binding Protein (MBP). Subsequently, TCF-1-specific hybridomas could be r pared from the spleens of immunized knock-out mice. This study illustrates the almost complete tolerance of mice for human TCF-1 and demonstrates that this tolerance is readily broken by gene knock-out. Furthermore, the usefulness of knock-out mice for the generation of monoclonal antibodies against the gene product of interest is underscored.
|Nummer van het tijdschrift||2-4|
|Status||Gepubliceerd - 1995|