IFN-γ represses ε germline transcription and subsequently down-regulates switch recombination to ε

Lixing Xu, Paul Rothman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

87 Scopus citations


Cytoklnes have the ability to regulate the isotypes of antibodies produced during an Immune response. For instance, IL-4 has been shown to induce the production of IgE by B cells, while IFN-γ has been shown to inhibit this induction. Recent work has revealed that IL-4 appears to induce class switching to εthrough Its ability to specifically induce germline ε transcripts. Germline εtranscription appears to target class-switch recombination to the εlocus. However, the mechanism by which IFN-γ Inhibits the IL-4 induction of IgE is unknown. We hypothesized that IFN-γ and IL-4 may have antagonistic effects on the same stage of B cell differentiation. Northern blotting analyses show that IFN-γ suppresses the IL-4 Induction of germline εtranscripts. In transient transfection assays, the IL-4 Induction of transcription Imparted by the minimal 179 bp germline εpromoter Is repressed by IFN-γ. Utilizing a digestion circularization -polymerase chain reaction assay we show that IL-4 Induces switch recombination to ε, while IFN-γ suppresses switch recombination to ε. These studies support a model that, through their differential effects on a cis-controlllng element that regulates germline εtranscription, IL-4 and IFN-γ are able to modulate B cell switch recombination to εin a coordinated manner.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)515-521
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Immunology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • Class-switching
  • Cytokine
  • Immunoglobulin
  • Interleukin-4

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


Dive into the research topics of 'IFN-γ represses ε germline transcription and subsequently down-regulates switch recombination to ε'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this