Cloning of human early B-cell factor and identification of target genes suggest a conserved role in B-cell development in man and mouse.
Gisler R., Jacobsen SE., Sigvardsson M.
Early B-cell factor (EBF) is a helix-loop-helix transcription factor suggested to be essential for B-cell development in the mouse. Several genetic targets for EBF have been identified in mice, among these the surrogate light chain lambda5 and the signal-transducing molecules Igalpha (mb-1) and Igbeta (B29). This article reports cloning of the human homologue of EBF, hEBF. This protein has 93% sequence and 98.8% amino acid homology with mouse EBF. The encoded protein binds DNA and is expressed in cells of the B lineage, but not in cell populations representing T lymphocytes or myeloid cells. It is also shown that EBF-binding sites are functionally conserved in the human mb-1 and B29 promoters because hEBF interacts with these in the electrophoretic mobility shift assay (EMSA) and have the ability to increase the activity of reporter constructs under the control of these promoters in nonlymphoid HeLa cells. A third genetic target for hEBF is the promoter of the human surrogate light chain 14.1. This promoter contains 5 independent binding sites capable of interacting with hEBF in the EMSA, and the activity of the promoter was induced 24-fold in co-transfection experiments. These findings suggest that the human homologue of mouse EBF displays conserved biochemical features as well as genetic targets, indicating that this protein also has an important role in human B-cell development. (Blood. 2000;96:1457-1464)