Mitogen- and IL-4-regulated expression of germ-line Ig γ2b transcripts: Evidence for directed heavy chain class switching

Stuart Lutzker, Paul B Rothman, Roberta Pollock, Robert Coffman, Frederick W. Alt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Treatment of murine B cells with bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS) in the presence or absence of different lymphokines results in cell populations that differentially express particular immunoglobulin heavy chain constant region (CH) genes. This class switch involves recombination between switch regions located upstream of the germ-line CH genes. We have treated Abelson murine leukemia virus-transformed pre-B cells and normal splenic B cells with LPS or LPS plus the lymphokine IL-4 and examined the effect on the germ-line γ2b locus and γ2b class switching. In both cell types, LPS induces transcription specifically through the germ-line γ2b locus before γ2b class switching. Furthermore, IL-4 inhibits LPS induction of germ-line γ2b transcripts in spleen cells and correspondingly abrogates switching to this CH gene. Thus treatment with mitogens and lymphokines can alter transcription of germ-line CH genes in B lineage cells and thereby directly regulate class switching in the context of a recombinase accessibility mechanism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)177-184
Number of pages8
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 22 1988
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Molecular Biology

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