Multifunctional role of the transcription factor Blimp-1 in coordinating plasma cell differentiation.

Martina Minnich, Hiromi Tagoh, Peter Bönelt, Elin Axelsson, Maria Fischer, Beatriz Cebolla, Alexander Tarakhovsky, Stephen L Nutt, Markus Jaritz, Meinrad Busslinger,

Nature immunology, January 18, 2016

The transcription factor Blimp-1 is necessary for the generation of plasma cells. Here we studied its functions in plasmablast differentiation by identifying regulated Blimp-1 target genes. Blimp-1 promoted the migration and adhesion of plasmablasts. It directly repressed genes encoding several transcription factors and Aicda (which encodes the cytidine deaminase AID) and thus silenced B cell-specific gene expression, antigen presentation and class-switch recombination in plasmablasts. It directly activated genes, which led to increased expression of the plasma cell regulator IRF4 and proteins involved in immunoglobulin secretion. Blimp-1 induced the transcription of immunoglobulin genes by controlling the 3’ enhancers of the loci encoding the immunoglobulin heavy chain (Igh) and κ-light chain (Igk) and, furthermore, regulated the post-transcriptional expression switch from the membrane-bound form of the immunoglobulin heavy chain to its secreted form by activating Ell2 (which encodes the transcription-elongation factor ELL2). Notably, Blimp-1 recruited chromatin-remodeling and histone-modifying complexes to regulate its target genes. Hence, many essential functions of plasma cells are under the control of Blimp-1.

Pubmed Link: 26779602

DOI: 10.1038/ni.3349

DOI: 10.1038/ni.3349