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Antigen receptor signaling induces MAP kinase-mediated phosphorylation and degradation of the BCL-6 transcription factor.

Niu H., Ye B.H., Dalla-Favera R.

The bcl-6 proto-oncogene encodes a POZ/zinc finger transcriptional repressor expressed in germinal center (GC) B and T cells and required for GC formation and antibody affinity maturation. Deregulation of bcl-6 expression by chromosomal rearrangements and point mutations of the bcl-6 promoter region are implicated in the pathogenesis of B-cell lymphoma. The signals regulating bcl-6 expression are not known. Here we show that antigen receptor activation leads to BCL-6 phosphorylation by mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK). Phosphorylation, in turn, targets BCL-6 for rapid degradation by the ubiquitin/proteasome pathway. These findings indicate that BCL-6 expression is directly controlled by the antigen receptor via MAPK activation. This signaling pathway may be crucial for the control of B-cell differentiation and antibody response and has implications for the regulation of other POZ/zinc finger transcription factors in other tissues.

Genes Dev. 12:1953-1961(1998) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]