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Immunity. 2002 Feb;16(2):297-309.

PU.1 regulates expression of the interleukin-7 receptor in lymphoid progenitors.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Department of Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology, The University of Chicago, 5841 S. Maryland Ave., MC1028, Chicago, IL 60637, USA.


Development of the lymphoid system is dependent on the Ets family transcription factor PU.1. We demonstrate that PU.1(-/-) hematopoietic progenitors fail to express IL-7Ralpha transcripts. Promoter and chromatin crosslinking analyses suggest that PU.1 directly regulates transcription of the IL-7Ralpha gene. Retroviral transduction of IL-7Ralpha into PU.1(-/-) progenitors restores IL-7-dependent proliferation and induces, at low frequency, the generation of pro-B cells undergoing an apparently normal program of differentiation. Although the related factor Spi-B can substitute for PU.1 in early B cell development, it is not required. These results demonstrate that PU.1 functions to regulate early B cell development in part by controlling the expression of the IL-7Ralpha gene.

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