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PLoS One. 2016 May 11;11(5):e0155311. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0155311. eCollection 2016.

YY1 Is Required for Germinal Center B Cell Development.

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Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Pennsylvania, School of Veterinary Medicine, 3800 Spruce Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104, United States of America.
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Thomas Jefferson University, 233 South Tenth Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19107, United States of America.


YY1 has been implicated as a master regulator of germinal center B cell development as YY1 binding sites are frequently present in promoters of germinal center-expressed genes. YY1 is known to be important for other stages of B cell development including the pro-B and pre-B cells stages. To determine if YY1 plays a critical role in germinal center development, we evaluated YY1 expression during B cell development, and used a YY1 conditional knock-out approach for deletion of YY1 in germinal center B cells (CRE driven by the immunoglobulin heavy chain γ1 switch region promoter; γ1-CRE). We found that YY1 is most highly expressed in germinal center B cells and is increased 3 fold in splenic B cells activated by treatment with anti-IgM and anti-CD40. In addition, deletion of the yy1 gene by action of γ1-CRE recombinase resulted in significant loss of GC cells in both un-immunized and immunized contexts with corresponding loss of serum IgG1. Our results show a crucial role for YY1 in the germinal center reaction.

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