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EMBO J. 1998 Apr 15; 17(8): 2319–2333.
PMCID: PMC1170575

Identification of BSAP (Pax-5) target genes in early B-cell development by loss- and gain-of-function experiments.


The Pax-5 gene codes for the transcription factor BSAP which is essential for the progression of adult B lymphopoiesis beyond an early progenitor (pre-BI) cell stage. Although several genes have been proposed to be regulated by BSAP, CD19 is to date the only target gene which has been genetically confirmed to depend on this transcription factor for its expression. We have now taken advantage of cultured pre-BI cells of wild-type and Pax-5 mutant bone marrow to screen a large panel of B lymphoid genes for additional BSAP target genes. Four differentially expressed genes were shown to be under the direct control of BSAP, as their expression was rapidly regulated in Pax-5-deficient pre-BI cells by a hormone-inducible BSAP-estrogen receptor fusion protein. The genes coding for the B-cell receptor component Ig-alpha (mb-1) and the transcription factors N-myc and LEF-1 are positively regulated by BSAP, while the gene coding for the cell surface protein PD-1 is efficiently repressed. Distinct regulatory mechanisms of BSAP were revealed by reconstituting Pax-5-deficient pre-BI cells with full-length BSAP or a truncated form containing only the paired domain. IL-7 signalling was able to efficiently induce the N-myc gene only in the presence of full-length BSAP, while complete restoration of CD19 synthesis was critically dependent on the BSAP protein concentration. In contrast, the expression of the mb-1 and LEF-1 genes was already reconstituted by the paired domain polypeptide lacking any transactivation function, suggesting that the DNA-binding domain of BSAP is sufficient to recruit other transcription factors to the regulatory regions of these two genes. In conclusion, these loss- and gain-of-function experiments demonstrate that BSAP regulates four newly identified target genes as a transcriptional activator, repressor or docking protein depending on the specific regulatory sequence context.

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Selected References

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