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Mol Immunol. 1996 Aug;33(11-12):947-56.

Involvement of the E2A basic helix-loop-helix protein in immunoglobulin heavy chain class switching.

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Institute of Pathology, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland, OH 44106-4943, USA.


The basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) transcriptional factor E2A has previously been shown to play a critical role in early B cell development, with E2A knockout mice and Id1 transgenic mice showing an arrest at the pro-B cell stage of development. More recent data suggest that E2A, through an interaction with the immunoglobulin heavy chain 3' enhancer, might also regulate later events in B cell development such as heavy chain class switching. The patterns of E2A protein expression in secondary lymphoid tissues support a role in later stages of B cell maturation. In particular, immunostaining reveals upregulation of E2A protein in cells of the dark zone of the germinal center, the site of immunoglobulin heavy chain class switching. To examine the role of E2A in class switching, the inhibitory HLH protein Id1 was expressed in B cell lines which normally undergo spontaneous and inducible switching from IgM to IgA. The forced expression of Id1 in these cell lines effectively blocked class switching. This Id1 blockade of class switching did not occur via downregulation of immunoglobulin heavy chain germline transcription or through inhibition of cell cycling. Furthermore, Id1 inhibited spontaneous and, to a lesser degree, cytokine inducible class switching. From these data, we conclude that E2A plays an important role in the class switching process.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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