Plastic downregulation of the transcriptional repressor BCL6 during maturation of human dendritic cells

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Dendritic cell (DC) maturation links peripheral events initiated by the encounter with pathogens to the activation and expansion of antigen-specific T lymphocytes in secondary lymphoid organs. Here, we describe an as yet unrecognized modulator of human DC maturation, the transcriptional repressor BCL6. We found that both myeloid and plasmacytoid DCs constitutively express BCL6, which is rapidly downregulated following maturation triggered by selected stimuli. Both in unstimulated and maturing DCs, control of BCL6 protein levels reflects the convergence of several mechanisms regulating BCL6 stability, mRNA transcription and nuclear export. By regulating the induction of several genes implicated in the immune response, including inflammatory cytokines, chemokines and survival genes, BCL6 may represent a pivotal modulator of the afferent branch of the immune response.

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