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Eur J Immunol. 2013 Sep;43(9):2497-506. doi: 10.1002/eji.201343367. Epub 2013 Jul 8.

miR-221 redirects precursor B cells to the BM and regulates their residence.

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Research Group Lymphocyte Development, Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology, Berlin, Germany.


Pluripotent hematopoietic stem cells and multipotent myeloid/lymphoid progenitors express miR-221 and miR-222. When Pax5 expression commits these progenitors to monopotent pre-B lymphocytes the two microRNAs (miRNAs) are downregulated. Upon transplantation, stem cells and progenitors can reside in the BM, while pre-B cells, after their commitment, no longer do so. Retrovirally transduced, doxycycline-induced overexpression of either miR-221 or miR-222 in pre-B-I cells does not revert their monopotency to multipotency. However, upon transplantation miR-221, but not miR-222, transduced pre-B-I cells regain the capacity to reside in the BM. Upon subsequent termination of miR-221-expression by removal of doxycycline, the transplanted cells leave the BM again. Microarray analyses identified 25 downregulated miR-221-target genes, which could function to localize phases of B-lymphocyte development in BM before and after commitment.


B cells; Differentiation; MicroRNA-221; Migration; Pax5

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