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Herglotz J.,Retroviral Pathogenesis | Unrau L.,Retroviral Pathogenesis | Hauschildt F.,Retroviral Pathogenesis | Fischer M.,Retroviral Pathogenesis | And 10 more authors.
Blood | Year: 2016

The sequential activation of distinct developmental gene networks governs the ultimate identity of a cell, but the mechanisms involved in initiating downstream programs are incompletely understood. The pre-B-cell receptor (pre-BCR) is an important checkpoint of B-cell development and is essential for a pre-Bcell to traverse into an immatureBcell. Here,we show that activation ofmyocyte enhancer factor 2 (Mef2) transcription factors (TFs) by the pre-BCR is necessary for initiating the subsequent genetic network. We demonstrate that B-cell development is blocked at the pre-B-cell stage in mice deficient for Mef2c and Mef2d TFs and that pre-BCR signaling enhances the transcriptional activity of Mef2c/d through phosphorylation by the Erk5 mitogen-Activating kinase. This activation is instrumental in inducing Krüppel-like factor 2 and several immediate early genes of the AP1 and Egr family. Finally, we show that Mef2 proteins cooperate with the products of their target genes (Irf4 and Egr2) to induce secondary waves of transcriptional regulation. Our findings uncover a novel role for Mef2c/d in coordinating the transcriptional network that promotes early B-cell development. © 2016 by The American Society of Hematology.

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