OCT 18, 2016 9:10 PM PDT

Transcriptional Repressor Responsible for B Lymphocyte Identity

WRITTEN BY: Kara Marker
Since the 1960s, scientists have studied the antibody production and cell-mediated immune response duties of B lymphocytes. According to a 2008 Blood review, disruptions in the B lymphocyte lineage can lead to congenital immunodeficiency, leukemia/lymphoma, and autoimmune disease. Now, in a new study, scientists from the Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute have identified a transcriptional repressor that seems to be at the root of the problem.
Image credit: Roche
Histone deacetylase HDAC7 is a transcriptional repressor known to play a key role in transcriptional regulation, cell cycle progression, and other developmental events. In the recent Journal of Experimental Medicine study, researchers found HDAC7 to be involved in the pathway responsible for the generation and identify of B lymphocytes.

B lymphocytes are just one type of hematopoietic stem cells, which follow a very complicated pathway to finally becoming B lymphocytes or other blood cells. The B cell pathway is the same as T cells and NK cells; they come from the same precursor cell. However, hematopoietic cells also lead to the production of macrophages, red blood cells, and more. In the present study, scientists showed how essential HDAC7 is to the generation of B lymphocytes.

As precursor cells in the hematopoietic stem cell pathway differentiate and make their way to becoming B cells, different genetic influences are needed for successful differentiation. “However, increasing evidence indicate that transcription factors are also involve in the repression of lineage inappropriate genes,” said lead researcher Maribel Parra. “How B cell transcription factors induce the silencing of genes that should not be expressed in B cells remain largely unknown.”

Parra and the team studied a mouse model of HDAC7 deficiency in B cell progenitors to break down the precise role of the transcriptional repressor in B cell development. Results showed that HDAC7 silences activity of any “inappropriate” genes. 

In the differentiation of B lymphocytes, HDAC7 regulates the involvement of transcriptional repression of genes belonging to precursors of other cell types, like macrophages and T lymphocytes. For example, without HDAC7 activity, a cell lineage destined to become a B lymphocyte could have T lymphocyte or macrophage characteristics, compromising the integrity of the end product. "Through this mechanism of transcriptional repression, B cells ensure that genes characteristics of other cell types are not expressed and maintains its lymphoid identity," Parra explained.
 


Sources: Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute, Gene ID
 
About the Author
  • I am a scientific journalist and enthusiast, especially in the realm of biomedicine. I am passionate about conveying the truth in scientific phenomena and subsequently improving health and public awareness. Sometimes scientific research needs a translator to effectively communicate the scientific jargon present in significant findings. I plan to be that translating communicator, and I hope to decrease the spread of misrepresented scientific phenomena! Check out my science blog: ScienceKara.com.
You May Also Like
NOV 27, 2019
Genetics & Genomics
NOV 27, 2019
Humans Are Continuing to Evolve, Along With Immune-Related Diseases
Humans have evolved in some ways to be less susceptible to pathogens, but those benefits can also carry risks of other d...
DEC 21, 2019
Drug Discovery & Development
DEC 21, 2019
Improving Vaccines for Meningitis
Scientists at the University of Nottingham are seeking new ways to improve vaccine use in the protection against the bacterium, Neisseria meningitides that
JAN 14, 2020
Technology
JAN 14, 2020
Can Virtual Reality Influence an Increase in Vaccinations?
Can a virtual reality (VR) help increase flu vaccination rates? Apparently, yes! A recent study using VR stimulation is aiming to show how the flu spreads
FEB 10, 2020
Immunology
FEB 10, 2020
Measles infections can give the immune system amnesia
The immune system detects the presence of invading microbes that it recognizes from previous infections, and initiates a full-blown immune response. New re
FEB 21, 2020
Drug Discovery & Development
FEB 21, 2020
Why is it so Difficult to Develop a Vaccine for Coronavirus?
As of February 21st, 2,250 have died worldwide from Coronavirus, while 18,862 have recovered and 55,703 are currently infected. Having made top news storie
MAR 28, 2020
Drug Discovery & Development
MAR 28, 2020
FDA Approves 5-Minute Coronavirus Test
In recent weeks, the US has struggled to supply enough tests to detect the coronavirus. Now, however, this may change thanks to the FDA’s approval of
Loading Comments...