E2A promotes the survival of precursor and mature B lymphocytes.
The basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor E2A is an essential regulator of B lymphocyte lineage commitment and is required to activate the expression of numerous B lineage-specific genes. Studies involving ectopic expression of Id proteins, which inhibit E2A as well as other basic helix-loop-helix proteins such as HEB, suggest additional roles of E2A at later stages of B cell development. We use E2A-deficient and E2A and HEB double-deficient pre-B cell lines to directly assess the function of E2A and HEB in B cell development after lineage commitment. We show that, in contrast to the established role of E2A in lineage commitment, elimination of E2A and HEB in pre-B cell lines has only a modest negative impact on B lineage gene expression. However, E2A single and E2A and HEB double-deficient but not HEB single-deficient cell lines show dramatically enhanced apoptosis upon growth arrest. To address the possible role of E2A in the regulation of B cell survival in vivo, we crossed IFN-inducible Cre-transgenic mice to E2A conditional mice. Cre-mediated E2A deletion resulted in a block in bone marrow B cell development and a significant reduction in the proportion and total number of splenic B cells in these mice. We show that Cre-mediated deletion of E2A in adoptively transferred mature B cells results in the rapid depletion of the transferred population within 24 h of Cre induction. These results reveal that E2A is not required to maintain B cell fate but is essential in promoting pre-B and B cell survival.
Lazorchak, AS; Wojciechowski, J; Dai, M; Zhuang, Y
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