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Nature. 1996 Oct 10;383(6600):538-42.

B-cell-specific coactivator OBF-1/OCA-B/Bob1 required for immune response and germinal centre formation.

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Friedrich Miescher Institute, Basel, Switzerland.


The B-lymphocyte-specific transcriptional factor called Oct binding factor (OBF)-1, OCA-B or Bob1 (refs 1-3) is thought to be involved in the transcription of immunoglobulin genes through recruitment to the highly conserved octamer site of immunoglobulin promoters, mediated by either Oct-1 or Oct-2. To define the in vivo role of OBF-1 we have used gene targeting in embryonic stem cells to generate mice lacking the coactivator OBF-1. Such OBF-1-/- mice are born normally, are fertile and seem healthy, and surprisingly, rearrangement and transcription of immunoglobulin genes are largely unaffected. However, mice deficient in OBF-1 have reduced numbers of mature B cells and a severe reduction in the number of recirculating B cells, but otherwise show normal B-cell differentiation. Serum IgA and particularly IgG levels are greatly reduced. If mutant mice are immunized with either a thymus-independent or a thymus-dependent antigen, their immune responses are dramatically weakened. Strikingly, germinal centres completely fail to develop after immunization with thymus-dependent antigen. Our results demonstrate that in vivo OBF-1 is not required for initial transcription of immunoglobulin genes or for B cell development, but instead is essential for the response of B cells to antigens, and is required for the formation of germinal centres.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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