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Blood. 2012 May 3;119(18):4174-81. doi: 10.1182/blood-2011-09-378182. Epub 2012 Mar 20.

The Ets-1 transcription factor is required for Stat1-mediated T-bet expression and IgG2a class switching in mouse B cells.

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  • 1Université Paris Diderot, Sorbonne Paris Cité, Institut Universitaire d'Hématologie Hôpital Saint Louis, 1 avenue Claude Vellefaux, Paris Cedex 10, France.


In response to antigens and cytokines, mouse B cells undergo class-switch recombination (CSR) and differentiate into Ig-secreting cells. T-bet, a T-box transcription factor that is up-regulated in lymphocytes by IFN-γ or IL-27, was shown to regulate CSR to IgG2a after T cell-independent B-cell stimulations. However, the molecular mechanisms controlling this process remain unclear. In the present study, we show that inactivation of the Ets-1 transcription factor results in a severe decrease in IgG2a secretion in vivo and in vitro. No T-bet expression was observed in Ets-1-deficient (Ets-1(-/-)) B cells stimulated with IFN-γ and lipopolysaccharide, and forced expression of T-bet in these cells rescued IgG2a secretion. Furthermore, we identified a transcriptional enhancer in the T-bet locus with an activity in B cells that relies on ETS-binding sites. After IFN-γ stimulation of Ets-1(-/-) B cells, activated Stat1, which forms a complex with Ets-1 in wild-type cells, no longer binds to the T-bet enhancer or promotes histone modifications at this site. These results demonstrate that Ets-1 is critical for IgG2a CSR and acts as an essential cofactor for Stat1 in the regulation of T-bet expression in B cells.

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