Research ArticleTHYMUS

Tumor suppressor BAP1 is essential for thymic development and proliferative responses of T lymphocytes

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Science Immunology  20 Apr 2018:
Vol. 3, Issue 22, eaal1953
DOI: 10.1126/sciimmunol.aal1953

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Fueling T cell proliferation

Previous studies on BRCA1-associated protein-1 (BAP1) have documented its importance in suppressing development of myeloid leukemia. BAP1 is a deubiquitinase (DUB) that acts on histone H2A monoubiquitinated at Lys119 (H2AK119ub), a chromatin modification associated with gene repression. Arenzana et al. report that BAP1 is essential for development of T cells in the thymus and for promoting peripheral T cell proliferation. The authors report that deletion of BAP1 impaired expression of genes associated with cell cycle progression in thymocytes and in peripheral T cells. In both cases, the effect of BAP1 deletion was dependent on the DUB activity of BAP1, calling for a closer examination of the role of H2AK119ub in T cell development and differentiation.