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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1996 Jul 9;93(14):6947-52.

BCL-6, a POZ/zinc-finger protein, is a sequence-specific transcriptional repressor.

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Division of Oncology, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, NY 10032, USA.


Approximately 40% of diffuse large cell lymphoma are associated with chromosomal translocations that deregulate the expression of the BCL6 gene by juxtaposing heterologous promoters to the BCL-6 coding domain. The BCL6 gene encodes a 95-kDa protein containing six C-terminal zinc-finger motifs and an N-terminal POZ domain, suggesting that it may function as a transcription factor. By using a DNA sequence selected for its ability to bind recombinant BCL-6 in vitro, we show here that BCL-6 is present in DNA-binding complexes in nuclear extracts from various B-cell lines. In transient transfectin experiments, BCL6 can repress transcription from promoters linked to its DNA target sequence and this activity is dependent upon specific DNA-binding and the presence of an intact N-terminal half of the protein. We demonstrate that this part of the BCL6 molecule contains an autonomous transrepressor domain and that two noncontiguous regions, including the POZ motif, mediate maximum transrepressive activity. These results indicate that the BCL-6 protein can function as a sequence-specific transcriptional repressor and have implications for the role of BCL6 in normal lymphoid development and lymphomagenesis.

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