The transcription factor Blimp-1 induces the maturation of B cells into Ab-secreting plasma cells. DNA microarrays were used to analyze the transcription profiles of both Blimp-1-transduced murine B cell lines and the inducible B cell line BCL1. Hundreds of genes were differentially regulated, showing how Blimp-1 both restricts affinity maturation and promotes Ab secretion, homeostasis, migration, and differentiation. Strikingly, when different modes of plasma cell induction are used, very different genetic programs are used, suggesting that the transition from a B cell to plasma cell can occur in multiple ways, perhaps accounting for the different types of Ab-secreting cells observed in vivo. Furthermore, mutagenesis of Blimp-1 reveals multiple effector domains, which regulate distinct genes. This indicates that Blimp-1 subdivides the maturation program into select and tunable pathways.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy