The gene encoding the BCL-6 transcriptional repressor is frequently translocated and mutated in diffuse large cell lymphoma. Mice with a disrupted BCL-6 gene developed myocarditis and pulmonary vasculitis, had no germinal centers, and had increased expression of T helper cell type 2 cytokines. The BCL-6 DNA recognition motif resembled sites bound by the STAT (signal transducers and activators of transcription) transcription factors, which mediate cytokine signaling. BCL-6 could repress interleukin-4 (IL-4)- induced transcription when bound to a site recognized by the IL-4-responsive transcription factor Stat6. Thus, dysregulation of STAT-responsive genes may underlie the inflammatory disease in BCL-6 -deficient mice and participate in lymphoid malignancies.
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