The formation of terminally differentiated plasma cells represents the critical final step in B-cell differentiation. In this study, utilizing oligonucleotide microarray analysis, we describe the highly specialized genetic profile exhibited by terminally differentiated plasma cells. A total of 1476 known genes were differentially expressed by plasma cells compared with B cells. Plasma cells displayed an upregulation, induction, or a selective retention of a unique constellation of transcription factors, including members of the AP-1, nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB), nuclear factor of activated T cells (NFAT), and octamer binding factor families. Interestingly, plasma cells also displayed a downre-gulation of several RNA polymerase I-related factors, consistent with terminal differentiation, and exhibited a down-regulation of the TATA box binding protein. Furthermore, plasma cells displayed alterations in multiple components of the Wnt and Notch signaling pathways and showed a unique pattern of apoptosis and proliferation-associated genes. Unexpectedly, plasma cells displayed an up-regulation of 2 factors normally associated with microenvironmental positioning of neuronal cells, reelin and neuropilin-1. These results supply insight into the developmental genetics of plasma cell differentiation and provide a foundation for further analysis of plasma cell biology.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology