Memory B cell responses are more rapid and of greater magnitude than are primary Ab responses. The mechanisms by which these secondary responses are eventually attenuated remain unknown. We demonstrate that the transcription factor ZBTB32 limits the rapidity and duration of Ab recall responses. ZBTB32 is highly expressed by mouse and human memory B cells but not by their naive counterparts. Zbtb32(-/-) mice mount normal primary Ab responses to T-dependent Ags. However, Zbtb32(-/-) memory B cell-mediated recall responses occur more rapidly and persist longer than do control responses. Microarray analyses demonstrate that Zbtb32(-/-) secondary bone marrow plasma cells display elevated expression of genes that promote cell cycle progression and mitochondrial function relative to wild-type controls. BrdU labeling and adoptive transfer experiments confirm more rapid production and a cell-intrinsic survival advantage of Zbtb32(-/-) secondary plasma cells relative to wild-type counterparts. ZBTB32 is therefore a novel negative regulator of Ab recall responses.
Gene expression profiling using microarrays has been limited to comparisons of gene expression between small numbers of samples within individual experiments. However, the unknown and variable sensitivities of each probeset have rendered the absolute expression of any given gene nearly impossible to estimate. We have overcome this limitation by using a very large number (>10,000) of varied microarray data as a common reference, so that statistical attributes of each probeset, such as the dynamic range and threshold between low and high expression, can be reliably discovered through meta-analysis. This strategy is implemented in a web-based platform named "Gene Expression Commons" (https://gexc.stanford.edu/) which contains data of 39 distinct highly purified mouse hematopoietic stem/progenitor/differentiated cell populations covering almost the entire hematopoietic system. Since the Gene Expression Commons is designed as an open platform, investigators can explore the expression level of any gene, search by expression patterns of interest, submit their own microarray data, and design their own working models representing biological relationship among samples.
Drosophila melanogaster discs large (dlg) is an essential tumor suppressor gene (TSG) controlling epithelial cell growth and polarity of the fly imaginal discs in pupal development. A mammalian ortholog, Dlg1, is involved in embryonic urogenital morphogenesis, postsynaptic densities in neurons, and immune synapses in lymphocytes. However, a potential role for Dlg1 as a mammalian TSG is unknown. Here, we present evidence that loss of Dlg1 confers strong predisposition to the development of malignancies in a murine model of pediatric B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL). Using mice with conditionally deleted Dlg1 alleles, we identify a novel "pre-leukemic" stage of developmentally arrested early B-lineage cells marked by preeminent c-Myc expression. Mechanistically, we show that in B-lineage progenitors Dlg1 interacts with and stabilizes the PTEN protein, regulating its half-life and steady-state abundance. The loss of Dlg1 does not affect the level of PTEN mRNAs but results in a dramatic decrease in PTEN protein, leading to excessive phosphoinositide 3-kinase signaling and proliferation. Our data suggest a novel model of tumor suppression by a PDZ domain-containing polarity gene in hematopoietic cancers.
While most blood lineages are assumed to mature through a single cellular and developmental route downstream of HSCs, dendritic cells (DCs) can be derived from both myeloid and lymphoid progenitors in vivo. To determine how distinct progenitors can generate similar downstream lineages, we examined the transcriptional changes that accompany loss of in vivo myeloid potential as common myeloid progenitors differentiate into common DC progenitors (CDPs), and as lymphoid-primed multipotent progenitors (LMPPs) differentiate into all lymphoid progenitors (ALPs). Microarray studies revealed that IFN regulatory factor 8 (IRF-8) expression increased during each of these transitions. Competitive reconstitutions using Irf8(-/-) BM demonstrated cell-intrinsic defects in the formation of CDPs and all splenic DC subsets. Irf8(-/-) common myeloid progenitors and, unexpectedly, Irf8(-/-) ALPs produced more neutrophils in vivo than their wild-type counterparts at the expense of DCs. Retroviral expression of IRF-8 in multiple progenitors led to reduced neutrophil production and increased numbers of DCs, even in the granulocyte-macrophage progenitor (GMP), which does not normally possess conventional DC potential. These data suggest that IRF-8 represses a neutrophil module of development and promotes convergent DC development from multiple lymphoid and myeloid progenitors autonomously of cellular context.
Humoral immunity is characterized by the generation of Ab-secreting plasma cells and memory B cells that can more rapidly generate specific Abs upon Ag exposure than their naive counterparts. To determine the intrinsic differences that distinguish naive and memory B cells and to identify pathways that allow germinal center B cells to differentiate into memory B cells, we compared the transcriptional profiles of highly purified populations of these three cell types along with plasma cells isolated from mice immunized with a T-dependent Ag. The transcriptional profile of memory B cells is similar to that of naive B cells, yet displays several important differences, including increased expression of activation-induced deaminase and several antiapoptotic genes, chemotactic receptors, and costimulatory molecules. Retroviral expression of either Klf2 or Ski, two transcriptional regulators specifically enriched in memory B cells relative to their germinal center precursors, imparted a competitive advantage to Ag receptor and CD40-engaged B cells in vitro. These data suggest that humoral recall responses are more rapid than primary responses due to the expression of a unique transcriptional program by memory B cells that allows them to both be maintained at high frequencies and to detect and rapidly respond to antigenic re-exposure.