Department of Medicine

B Cell Development And Lymphoma

The regulation of B cell terminal differentiation is crucial to the development of a normal immune response. The transcription factor BCL-6 is essential for this process and is also expressed in several types of lymphoma. BCL-6 is involved in chromosomal translocations in 30-40% of diffuse large cell lymphomas and may have an important role in the genesis of this particular disease. BCL-6 is expressed in other tissues and we have recently focused on its role in mammary epithelium and breast cancer.

It is likely that BCL-6’s mechanism of action is to modulate the effects of the STAT family of transcription factors, and we have implicated STAT3 as being particularly important in the normal control of B cell differentiation.

Effect of overexpressing

Effect of overexpressing BCL-6 on the growth of a mammary epithelial cell line on extra-cellular matrix

The main projects of the laboratory now are:

  • Finding BCL-6 target genes relevant to the control of differentiation in B cells and mammary epithelium

  • Identifying and analysing cis-acting control regions for BCL-6

  • Utilising a novel systematic approach to identify compunds which disrupt the effects of BCL-6 and which may form lead molecules for drug discovery.

BCL-6 prevents B cell terminal differentiation

BCL-6 prevents B cell terminal differentiation

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