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Nat Immunol. 2010 Feb;11(2):114-20. doi: 10.1038/ni.1837. Epub 2010 Jan 19.

Effectors and memories: Bcl-6 and Blimp-1 in T and B lymphocyte differentiation.

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Division of Vaccine Discovery, La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology, La Jolla, California, USA.


Bcl-6 and Blimp-1 have recently been identified as key transcriptional regulators of effector and memory differentiation in CD4(+) T cells and CD8(+) T cells. Bcl-6 and Blimp-1 were previously known to be critical regulators of effector and memory differentiation of B lymphocytes. The new findings unexpectedly point to the Bcl-6 and Blimp-1 regulatory axis as a ubiquitous mechanism for controlling effector and memory lymphocyte differentiation and function. Bcl-6 and Blimp-1 are antagonistic transcription factors and can function as a self-reinforcing genetic switch for cell-fate decisions. However, their influences in different lymphocytes are complex. Here we review and examine the commonalities and differences in the functions of these transcription factors in CD4(+) follicular helper T(FH) lymphocytes, effector CD8(+) T lymphocytes and B lymphocytes.

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