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Science. 2002 Jul 5;297(5578):110-3.

Reversion of B cell commitment upon loss of Pax5 expression.

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Research Institute of Molecular Pathology, Vienna Biocenter, Dr. Bohr-Gasse 7, A-1030 Vienna, Austria.


The transcription factor Pax5 is essential for initiating B cell lineage commitment, but its role in maintaining commitment is unknown. Using conditional Pax5 inactivation in committed pro-B cells, we demonstrate that Pax5 is required not only to initiate its B lymphoid transcription program, but also to maintain it in early B cell development. As a consequence of Pax5 inactivation, previously committed pro-B cells regained the capacity to differentiate into macrophages in vitro and to reconstitute T cell development in vivo in RAG2-/- mice. Hence, Pax5 expression is continuously required to maintain B cell lineage commitment, because its loss converts committed pro-B cells into hematopoietic progenitors with multilineage potential.

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