Genetic programs for regulating development of multi–cellular organism are daunting challenge for spatio-temporal regulation of gene expression. Progenitor cells sense extra- or intra- cellular stimuli, and begin to differentiate into specific lineage cells.
How progenitor cells decide their fate upon receiving those signals? Are there any chances to change their decisions to differentiate another lineage cells? If not, when and how their fate is fixed and maintained. In my laboratory, we are trying to address these questions by studying gene regulation that control T lymphocyte development. We are focusing on transcriptional factors network involved in lineage choice of CD4+CD8+DP thymocytes. In particular, we are extensively studying roles of Runx transcriptional factors and mechanism that regulate Thpok gene expression under TCR signals.