Reversible disruption of BCL6 repression complexes by CD40 signaling in normal and malignant B cells.
ABSTRACT: Germinal center (GC) B cells undergo somatic hypermutation, class switch recombination, and rapid clonal expansion to produce high-affinity antibodies. The BCL6 transcriptional repressor facilitates this phenotype because it can repress DNA damage checkpoint genes. GC B and T cells can make transient direct physical contact; T cells were observed to be associated with dead B-cell fragments. We thus hypothesized that one function of CD40 signaling from T cells within this timeframe could be to modulate BCL6 activity. CD40 signaling rapidly disrupts the ability of BCL6 to recruit the SMRT corepressor complex by excluding it from the nucleus, leading to histone acetylation, RNA polymerase II processivity, and activation of BCL6 target genes, such as CD23b, ATR, and TP53. Washout of CD40 to emulate transient T-cell contact permitted BCL6 target gene mRNA levels to return to their repressed levels, demonstrating that this is a reversible process, which could allow centroblasts that pass quality control to either continue proliferation or undergo terminal differentiation. These data suggest that transient CD40 signaling in the GC might allow T cells to weed out heavily damaged centroblasts while at the same time promoting survival of intact B cells, which could undergo differentiation or additional rounds of proliferation.
Project description:The BCL6 oncogenic transcriptional repressor is required for development of germinal center centroblasts, which undergo simultaneous genetic recombination and massive clonal expansion. Although BCL6 is required for survival of centroblasts, its expression in earlier B-cells is toxic. Understanding these opposing effects could provide critical insight into normal B-cell biology and lymphomagenesis. We examined the transcriptional and biological effects of BCL6 in various primary cells. BCL6 repression of ATR was previously shown to play a critical role in the centroblast phenotype. Likewise, we found that BCL6 could impose an ATR-dependent phenotype of attenuated DNA damage sensing and repair in primary fibroblasts and B-cells. BCL6 induced true genomic instability because DNA repair was delayed and was qualitatively impaired, which could be critical for BCL6-induced lymphomagenesis. Although BCL6 can directly repress TP53 in centroblasts, BCL6 induced TP53 expression in primary fibroblasts and B-cells, and these cells underwent p53-dependent growth arrest and senescence in the presence of physiological levels of BCL6. This differential ability to trigger a functional p53 response explains at least in part the different biological response to BCL6 expression in centroblasts versus other cells. The data suggest that targeted re-activation of TP53 could be of therapeutic value in centroblast-derived lymphomas.
Project description:The BCL6 proto-oncogene encodes a transcriptional repressor required for the development of germinal centers (GCs) and implicated in the pathogenesis of GC-derived B cell lymphoma. Understanding the precise role of BCL6 in normal GC formation and in lymphomagenesis depends on the identification of genes that are direct targets of its transcriptional repression. Here we report that BCL6 directly controls the expression of B7-1/CD80, a costimulatory receptor involved in B-T cell interactions critical for the development of T cell-mediated antibody responses. Upon CD40 signaling, transcription of the CD80 gene is induced by the nuclear factor (NF)-kappaB transcription factor. Our results show that BCL6 prevents CD40-induced expression of CD80 by binding its promoter region in vivo and suppressing its transcriptional activation by NF-kappaB. Consistent with a physiologic role for BCL6 in suppressing CD80, the expression of these two genes is mutually exclusive in B cells, and BCL6-defective mice show increased expression of CD80 in B cells. The results suggest that BCL6 may directly control the ability of B cell to interact with T cells during normal GC development. In addition, these findings imply that T-B cell interactions may be disrupted in B cell lymphoma expressing deregulated BCL6 genes.
Project description:The BCL6 transcriptional repressor is required for the development of germinal center (GC) B cells and diffuse large B cell lymphomas (DLBCLs). Although BCL6 can recruit multiple corepressors, its transcriptional repression mechanism of action in normal and malignant B cells is unknown. We find that in B cells, BCL6 mostly functions through two independent mechanisms that are collectively essential to GC formation and DLBCL, both mediated through its N-terminal BTB domain. These are (1) the formation of a unique ternary BCOR-SMRT complex at promoters, with each corepressor binding to symmetrical sites on BCL6 homodimers linked to specific epigenetic chromatin features, and (2) the "toggling" of active enhancers to a poised but not erased conformation through SMRT-dependent H3K27 deacetylation, which is mediated by HDAC3 and opposed by p300 histone acetyltransferase. Dynamic toggling of enhancers provides a basis for B cells to undergo rapid transcriptional and phenotypic changes in response to signaling or environmental cues.
Project description:BCL6 protects germinal center (GC) B cells against DNA damage-induced apoptosis during somatic hypermutation and class-switch recombination. Although expression of BCL6 was not found in early IL-7-dependent B cell precursors, we report that IL-7Ralpha-Stat5 signaling negatively regulates BCL6. Upon productive VH-DJH gene rearrangement and expression of a mu heavy chain, however, activation of pre-B cell receptor signaling strongly induces BCL6 expression, whereas IL-7Ralpha-Stat5 signaling is attenuated. At the transition from IL-7-dependent to -independent stages of B cell development, BCL6 is activated, reaches expression levels resembling those in GC B cells, and protects pre-B cells from DNA damage-induced apoptosis during immunoglobulin (Ig) light chain gene recombination. In the absence of BCL6, DNA breaks during Ig light chain gene rearrangement lead to excessive up-regulation of Arf and p53. As a consequence, the pool of new bone marrow immature B cells is markedly reduced in size and clonal diversity. We conclude that negative regulation of Arf by BCL6 is required for pre-B cell self-renewal and the formation of a diverse polyclonal B cell repertoire.
Project description:The transcriptional repressors BCL6 and BACH2 are crucial regulators of germinal center (GC) B-cell fate, and are known to interact and repress transcription of PRDM1, a key driver of plasma cell differentiation. How these factors cooperate is not fully understood. Herein, we show that GC formation is only minimally impaired in Bcl6(+/-) or Bach2(+/-) mice, although double heterozygous Bcl6(+/-)Bach2(+/-) mice exhibit profound reduction in GC formation. Splenic B cells from Bcl6(+/-) Bach2(+/-) mice display accelerated plasmacytic differentiation and high expression of key plasma cell genes such as Prdm1, Xbp1, and CD138. Chromatin immunoprecipitation sequencing revealed that in B cells, BACH2 is mostly bound to genes together with its heterodimer partner MAFK. The BACH2-MAFK complex binds to sets of genes known to be involved in the GC response, 60% of which are also targets of BCL6. Approximately 30% of BACH2 peaks overlap with BCL6, including cis-regulatory sequences of the PRDM1 gene. BCL6 also modulates BACH2 protein stability and their protein levels are positively correlated in GC B cells. Therefore, BCL6 and BACH2 cooperate to orchestrate gene expression patterning in GC B cells through both transcriptional and biochemical mechanisms, which collectively determine the proper initiation and timing of terminal differentiation.
Project description:Germinal center (GC) B cells feature repression of many gene enhancers to establish their characteristic transcriptome. Here we show that conditional deletion of Lsd1 in GCs significantly impaired GC formation, associated with failure to repress immune synapse genes linked to GC exit, which are also direct targets of the transcriptional repressor BCL6. We found that BCL6 directly binds LSD1 and recruits it primarily to intergenic and intronic enhancers. Conditional deletion of Lsd1 suppressed GC hyperplasia caused by constitutive expression of BCL6 and significantly delayed BCL6-driven lymphomagenesis. Administration of catalytic inhibitors of LSD1 had little effect on GC formation or GC-derived lymphoma cells. Using a CRISPR-Cas9 domain screen, we found instead that the LSD1 Tower domain was critical for dependence on LSD1 in GC-derived B cells. These results indicate an essential role for LSD1 in the humoral immune response, where it modulates enhancer function by forming repression complexes with BCL6.
Project description:The BCL6 transcriptional repressor is required for development of germinal center (GC) B cells and when expressed constitutively causes diffuse large B-cell lymphomas (DLBCLs). We examined genome-wide BCL6 promoter binding in GC B cells versus DLBCLs to better understand its function in these settings. BCL6 bound to both distinct and common sets of functionally related gene in normal GC cells versus DLBCL cells. Certain BCL6 target genes were preferentially repressed in GC B cells, but not DLBCL cells. Several such genes have prominent oncogenic functions, such as BCL2, MYC, BMI1, EIF4E, JUNB, and CCND1. BCL6 and BCL2 expression was negatively correlated in primary DLBCLs except in the presence of BCL2 translocations. The specific BCL6 inhibitor retro-inverso BCL6 peptidomimetic inhibitor-induced expression of BCL2 and other oncogenes, consistent with direct repression effects by BCL6. These data are consistent with a model whereby BCL6 can directly silence oncogenes in GC B cells and counterbalance its own tumorigenic potential. Finally, a BCL6 consensus sequence and binding sites for other physiologically relevant transcription factors were highly enriched among target genes and distributed in a pathway-dependent manner, suggesting that BCL6 forms specific regulatory circuits with other B-cell transcriptional factors.
Project description:Activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID) initiates a process generating DNA mutations and breaks in germinal center (GC) B cells that are necessary for somatic hypermutation and class-switch recombination. GC B cells can "tolerate" DNA damage while rapidly proliferating because of partial suppression of the DNA damage response by BCL6. In this study, we develop a model to study the response of mouse GC B cells to endogenous DNA damage. We show that the base excision repair protein apurinic/apyrimidinic endonuclease (APE) 2 protects activated B cells from oxidative damage in vitro. APE2-deficient mice have smaller GCs and reduced Ab responses compared with wild-type mice. DNA double-strand breaks are increased in the rapidly dividing GC centroblasts of APE2-deficient mice, which activate a p53-independent cell cycle checkpoint and a p53-dependent apoptotic response. Proliferative and/or oxidative damage and AID-dependent damage are additive stresses that correlate inversely with GC size in wild-type, AID-, and APE2-deficient mice. Excessive double-strand breaks lead to decreased expression of BCL6, which would enable DNA repair pathways but limit GC cell numbers. These results describe a nonredundant role for APE2 in the protection of GC cells from AID-independent damage, and although GC cells uniquely tolerate DNA damage, we find that the DNA damage response can still regulate GC size through pathways that involve p53 and BCL6.
Project description:To understand how the Bcl6 transcriptional repressor functions in the immune system, we disrupted its RD2 repression domain in mice. Bcl6RD2(MUT) mice exhibit a complete loss of germinal center (GC) formation but retain normal extrafollicular responses. Bcl6RD2(MUT) antigen-engaged B cells migrate to the interfollicular zone and interact with cognate T helper cells. However, these cells fail to complete early GC-commitment differentiation and coalesce as nascent GC aggregates. Bcl6 directly binds and represses trafficking receptors S1pr1 and Gpr183 by recruiting Hdac2 through the RD2 domain. Deregulation of these genes impairs B cell migration and may contribute to GC failure in Bcl6RD2(MUT) mice. The development of functional GC-TFH cells was partially impaired in Bcl6RD2(MUT) mice. In contrast to Bcl6(-/-) mice, Bcl6RD2(MUT) animals experience no inflammatory disease or macrophage deregulation. These results reveal an essential role for RD2 repression in early GC commitment and striking biochemical specificity in Bcl6 control of humoral and innate immune-cell phenotypes.