Bcl11a (also called Evi9) functions as a myeloid or B cell proto-oncogene in mice and humans, respectively. Here we show that Bcl11a is essential for postnatal development and normal lymphopoiesis. Bcl11a mutant embryos lack B cells and have alterations in several types of T cells. Phenotypic and expression studies show that Bcl11 a functions upstream of the transcription factors Ebf1 and Pax5 in the B cell pathway. Transplantation studies show that these defects in Bcl11a mutant mice are intrinsic to fetal liver precursor cells. Mice transplanted with Bcl11a-deficient cells died from T cell leukemia derived from the host. Thus, Bcl11a may also function as a non-autonomous T cell tumor suppressor gene.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy