Bcl11a is essential for lymphoid development and negatively regulates p53

Yong Yu, Juexuan Wang, Walid Khaled, Shannon Burke, Peng Li, Xiongfeng Chen, Wei Yang, Nancy A. Jenkins, Neal G. Copeland, Shujun Zhang, Pentao Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

133 Scopus citations


Transcription factors play important roles in lymphopoiesis. We have previously demonstrated that Bcl11a is essential for normal lymphocyte development in the mouse embryo. We report here that, in the adult mouse, Bcl11a is expressed in most hematopoietic cells and is highly enriched in B cells, early T cell progenitors, common lymphoid progenitors (CLPs), and hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). In the adult mouse, Bcl11a deletion causes apoptosis in early B cells and CLPs and completely abolishes the lymphoid development potential of HSCs to B, T, and NK cells. Myeloid development, in contrast, is not obviously affected by the loss of Bcl11a. Bcl11a regulates expression of Bcl2, Bcl2-xL, and Mdm2, which inhibits p53 activities. Overexpression of Bcl2 and Mdm2, or p53 deficiency, rescues both lethality and proliferative defects in Bcl11a-deficient early B cells and enables the mutant CLPs to differentiate to lymphocytes. Bcl11a is therefore essential for lymphopoiesis and negatively regulates p53 activities. Deletion of Bcl11a may represent a new approach for generating a mouse model that completely lacks an adaptive immune system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2467-2483
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Experimental Medicine
Issue number13
StatePublished - Dec 17 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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