Identification of a conserved lipopolysaccharide-plus-interleukin-4-responsive element located at the promoter of germ line ε transcripts

P. Rothman, S. C. Li, B. Gorham, L. Glimcher, F. Alt, M. Boothby

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119 Scopus citations


Treatment of splenic B lymphocytes and certain B-lineage cell lines with the mitogen lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and the lymphokine interleukin-4 (IL-4) induces expression of germ line immunoglobulin Cε transcripts and class switching to the Cε gene. We show that LPS-plus-IL-4 induction of germ line ε transcripts (termed Iε transcripts) occurs at the transcriptional level in an Abelson murine leukemia virus-transformed pre-B-cell line. A 1.1-kb region of DNA surrounding the Iε promoter endows inducible transcription to a heterologous reporter gene stably transfected into these cells; such inducible expression depends on combined treatment with LPS and IL-4. Analyses of constructs transiently introduced into a B-cell lymphoma line demonstrated that LPS-plus-IL-4-inducible expression can be conferred by a 179-bp segment of DNA spanning the Iε transcriptional initiation site. Mutational analyses demonstrated that this expression depended on DNA sequences within a conserved region directly upstream from the Iε transcriptional initiation region. One nuclear protein that is constitutively expressed in normal B cells binds to the downstream end of the conserved sequence; its binding specificity correlates with the functional effect of several mutations. Two additional proteins, which are induced by IL-4 treatment of splenic B cells, bind to the transcription initiation sites of Iε. These proteins are indistinguishable in binding assays from proteins previously shown to bind an enhancer region of the class II major histocompatibility complex gene Aα.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5551-5561
Number of pages11
JournalMolecular and cellular biology
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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