The generation, development, maturation and selection of mammalian B lymphocytes is a complex process that is initiated in the embryo and proceeds throughout life to provide the organism an essential part of the immune system it requires to cope with pathogens. Transcriptional regulation of this highly complex series of events is a major control mechanism, although control is also exerted on all other layers, including splicing, translation and protein stability. This review summarizes our current understanding of transcriptional control of the well-studied murine B cell development, which bears strong similarity to its human counterpart. Animal and cell models with loss of function (gene "knock outs") or gain of function (often transgenes) have significantly contributed to our knowledge about the role of specific transcription factors during B lymphopoiesis. In particular, a large number of different transcriptional regulators have been linked to distinct stages of the life of B lymphocytes such as: differentiation in the bone marrow, migration to the peripheral organs and antigen-induced activation.
- B cell
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