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Cell. 1994 Apr 22;77(2):297-306.

Blimp-1, a novel zinc finger-containing protein that can drive the maturation of B lymphocytes into immunoglobulin-secreting cells.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Stanford University School of Medicine, California 94305-5428.


We describe a novel gene, Blimp-1 (for B lymphocyte-induced maturation protein), transcripts of which are rapidly induced during the differentiation of B lymphocytes into immunoglobulin secretory cells and whose expression is characteristic of late B and plasma cell lines. The 856 amino acid open reading frame contains five Kr├╝ppel-type zinc finger motifs and proline-rich and acidic regions similar to those of known transcription factors. Serological studies show an approximately 100 kd protein that localizes to the nucleus. Stable or transient transfection of Blimp-1 into B cell lymphoma lines leads to the expression of many of the phenotypic changes associated with B cell differentiation into an early plasma cell stage, including induction of J chain message and immunoglobulin secretion, up-regulation of Syndecan-1, and increased cell size and granularity. Thus, Blimp-1 appears to be a pleiotropic regulatory factor capable of at least partially driving the terminal differentiation of B cells.

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