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J Biol Chem. 2004 Nov 26;279(48):49956-63. Epub 2004 Sep 22.

Human Pax-5 C-terminal isoforms possess distinct transactivation properties and are differentially modulated in normal and malignant B cells.

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Institut de Recherche Médicale Beauséjour, Université de Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada.


The transcription factor Pax-5 occupies a central role in B cell differentiation and has been implicated in the development of B cell lymphoma. The transcriptional activation function of Pax-5 requires an intact N-terminal DNA-binding domain and is strongly influenced by the C-terminal transactivation domain. We report the identification and characterization of five human Pax-5 isoforms, which occur through the alternative splicing of exons that encode for the C-terminal transactivation domain. These isoforms arise from the inclusion or exclusion of exon 7, exon 8, and/or exon 9. Three of the Pax-5 isoforms generate novel protein sequences rich in proline, serine, and threonine amino acids that are the hallmarks of transactivation domains. The Pax-5 isoforms are expressed in peripheral blood mononuclear cells, cancerous and non-cancerous B cell lines, as well as in primary B cell lymphoma tissue. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays demonstrate that the isoforms possess specific DNA binding activity and recognize the PAX-5 consensus binding sites. In reporter assays using the CD19 promoter, the transactivation properties of the various isoforms were significantly influenced by the changes in the C-terminal protein sequence. Finally, we demonstrate, for the first time, that human Pax-5 isoform expression is modulated by specific signaling pathways in B lymphocytes.

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