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Nat Immunol. 2003 Jun;4(6):525-32. Epub 2003 Apr 28.

Bcl11a is essential for normal lymphoid development.

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Mouse Cancer Genetics Program, National Cancer Institute-Frederick, Maryland 21702, USA.


Bcl11a (also called Evi9) functions as a myeloid or B cell proto-oncogene in mice and humans, respectively. Here we show that Bcl11a is essential for postnatal development and normal lymphopoiesis. Bcl11a mutant embryos lack B cells and have alterations in several types of T cells. Phenotypic and expression studies show that Bcl11a functions upstream of the transcription factors Ebf1 and Pax5 in the B cell pathway. Transplantation studies show that these defects in Bcl11a mutant mice are intrinsic to fetal liver precursor cells. Mice transplanted with Bcl11a-deficient cells died from T cell leukemia derived from the host. Thus, Bcl11a may also function as a non-autonomous T cell tumor suppressor gene.

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