Saadi W, Kermezli Y, Dao LTM, Mathieu E, Santiago-Algarra D, Manosalva I, Torres M, Belhocine M, Pradel L, Loriod B, Aribi M, Puthier D, Spicuglia S
Normal T-cell differentiation requires a complex regulatory network which supports a series of maturation steps, including lineage commitment, T-cell receptor (TCR) gene rearrangement, and thymic positive and negative selection. However, the underlying molecular mechanisms are difficult to assess due to limited T-cell models. Here we explore the use of the pro-T-cell line P5424 to study early T-cell differentiation. Stimulation of P5424 cells by the calcium ionophore ionomycin together with PMA resulted in gene regulation of T-cell differentiation and activation markers, partially mimicking the CD4CD8 double negative (DN) to double positive (DP) transition and some aspects of subsequent T-cell maturation and activation. Global analysis of gene expression, along with kinetic experiments, revealed a significant association between the dynamic expression of coding genes and neighbor lncRNAs including many newly-discovered transcripts, thus suggesting potential co-regulation. CRISPR/Cas9-mediated genetic deletion of Robnr, an inducible lncRNA located downstream of the anti-apoptotic gene Bcl2, demonstrated a critical role of the Robnr locus in the induction of Bcl2. Thus, the pro-T-cell line P5424 is a powerful model system to characterize regulatory networks involved in early T-cell differentiation and maturation.