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Nat Immunol. 2008 Aug;9(8):927-36. doi: 10.1038/ni.1626. Epub 2008 Jun 22.

Regulation of B cell fate commitment and immunoglobulin heavy-chain gene rearrangements by Ikaros.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Department of Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology, The University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois 60637, USA.


The transcription factor Ikaros is essential for B cell development. However, its molecular functions in B cell fate specification and commitment have remained elusive. We show here that the transcription factor EBF restored the generation of CD19(+) pro-B cells from Ikaros-deficient hematopoietic progenitors. Notably, these pro-B cells, despite having normal expression of the transcription factors EBF and Pax5, were not committed to the B cell fate. They also failed to recombine variable gene segments at the immunoglobulin heavy-chain locus. Ikaros promoted heavy-chain gene rearrangements by inducing expression of the recombination-activating genes as well as by controlling accessibility of the variable gene segments and compaction of the immunoglobulin heavy-chain locus. Thus, Ikaros is an obligate component of a network that regulates B cell fate commitment and immunoglobulin heavy-chain gene recombination.

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