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Fig. 2. The function of RUNX proteins during T cell development. Thymic T cell progenitors which are CD4–CD8– doublenegative (DN) progress in 4 stages (DN1 to 4) until becoming CD4+CD8+ double-positive (DP) expressing TCR on the cell surface. TCR expression requires TCR beta chain rearrangement which requires activation of a transcriptional enhancer, known as Eb, within the Tcrb gene by RUNX1. RUNX1 is also essential for the proliferation of DN4 cell during transition to the DP stage. RUNX proteins also play important roles in other lineages of T cells such as Treg, NKT, Th1, Th17, cytotoxic T cells, etc.
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