BCL6, a gene on chromosome 3 band q27, encodes a Kruppel-type zinc finger transcriptional repressor. Rearrangements of this gene are frequent in various kinds of lymphomas, particularly of the large-cell B-cell type. The BCL6 nuclear phosphoprotein is expressed in a variety of tissues and is up-regulated particularly in lymph node germinal centers. The zinc fingers of BCL6 bind DNA in a sequence-specific manner. To identify targets of the BCL6 repressive effects, we used a VP16-BCL6 fusion protein containing the zinc fingers but devoid of the repressor domains to compete with the binding of endogenous BCL6 in a transiently transfected B-cell line and then performed subtractive hybridization by using a method to selectively amplify sequences that are differentially expressed. We found that the programmed cell death-2 (PDCD2) gene is a target of BCL6 repression. This gene is the human homolog of Rp8, a rat gene associated with programmed cell death in thymocytes. Immunohistochemistry reveals the anticipated inverse relationship between BCL6 and PDCD2 expression in human tonsil. PDCD2 is detectable in cells of the germinal center in areas where there is less BCL6 expression as well as in the mantle zone, where there is little or no BCL6 expression. These results raise the possibility that BCL6 may regulate apoptosis by means of its repressive effects on PDCD2. BCL6 deregulation may lead to persistent down-regulation of PDCD2, reduced apoptosis, and, as a consequence, accumulation of BCL6-containing lymphoma cells.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|State||Published - Mar 5 2002|