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Mol Cell Biol. 2002 Jul;22(13):4771-80.

Blimp-1-dependent repression of Pax-5 is required for differentiation of B cells to immunoglobulin M-secreting plasma cells.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, New York 10032, USA.


B-cell lineage-specific activator protein (BSAP), encoded by the Pax-5 gene, is critical for B-cell lineage commitment and B-cell development but is not expressed in terminally differentiated B cells. We demonstrate a direct connection between BSAP and B-lymphocyte-induced maturation protein 1 (Blimp-1), a transcriptional repressor that is sufficient to drive plasmacytic differentiation. Blimp-1 binds a site on the Pax-5 promoter in vitro and in vivo and represses the Pax-5 promoter in a binding-site-dependent manner. By ectopically expressing Blimp-1 or a competitive inhibitor of Blimp-1, we show that Blimp-1 is both necessary and sufficient to repress Pax-5 during plasmacytic differentiation of primary splenic B cells. Blimp-1-dependent repression of Pax-5 is sufficient to regulate BSAP targets CD19 and J chain and is necessary but not sufficient to induce XBP-1. We further show that repression of Pax-5 is required for Blimp-1 to drive differentiation of splenocytes to immunoglobulin M-secreting cells. Thus, repression of Pax-5 plays a critical role in the Blimp-1-dependent program of plasmacytic differentiation.

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