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EMBO J. 2012 Jun 5;31(14):3130-46. doi: 10.1038/emboj.2012.155.

The B-cell identity factor Pax5 regulates distinct transcriptional programmes in early and late B lymphopoiesis.

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Department of Immunology, Research Institute of Molecular Pathology, Vienna Biocenter, Austria.


Pax5 controls the identity and development of B cells by repressing lineage-inappropriate genes and activating B-cell-specific genes. Here, we used genome-wide approaches to identify Pax5 target genes in pro-B and mature B cells. In these cell types, Pax5 bound to 40% of the cis-regulatory elements defined by mapping DNase I hypersensitive (DHS) sites, transcription start sites and histone modifications. Although Pax5 bound to 8000 target genes, it regulated only 4% of them in pro-B and mature B cells by inducing enhancers at activated genes and eliminating DHS sites at repressed genes. Pax5-regulated genes in pro-B cells account for 23% of all expression changes occurring between common lymphoid progenitors and committed pro-B cells, which identifies Pax5 as an important regulator of this developmental transition. Regulated Pax5 target genes minimally overlap in pro-B and mature B cells, which reflects massive expression changes between these cell types. Hence, Pax5 controls B-cell identity and function by regulating distinct target genes in early and late B lymphopoiesis.

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