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Eur J Immunol. 2002 Mar;32(3):720-30.

Ikaros is critical for B cell differentiation and function.

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1
Institut de Génétique et de Biologie Moléculaire et Cellulaire, CNRS-INSERM-ULP, Illkirch, France.

Abstract

The Ikaros gene encodes a zinc-finger transcription factor required during early B cell development, as B-lineage cells are absent in mice lacking Ikaros. Here we describe a novel Ikaros-targeted mouse line carrying a beta-galactosidase reporter in which low amounts of Ikaros proteins remain expressed. In homozygote animals, B cells are absent during fetal development, but develop postnatally from a reduced pool of precursors. In vitro, the proliferation and differentiation of B-lineage progenitors are severely impaired. These defects are attenuated in vivo, but bone marrow B cells display an unusual pattern of cell surface marker expression and show decreased transcript levels for TdT, Rag-1, Rag-2 and lambda 5. These abnormalities suggest a partial block at the proB cell stage of differentiation. In the periphery, mature B cells exhibit a lower activation threshold but form fewer germinal centers in response to antigenic stimulation. Our results show that Ikaros controls multiple aspects of B cell differentiation and function.

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