The interferon-inducible DNA sensor IFI16 is involved in the modulation of cellular survival, proliferation, and differentiation. In the hematopoietic system, IFI16 is consistently expressed in the CD34+ stem cells and in peripheral blood lymphocytes; however, little is known regarding its regulation during maturation of B- and T-cells. We explored the role of IFI16 in normal B-cell subsets by analysing its expression and relationship with the major transcription factors involved in germinal center (GC) development and plasma-cell (PC) maturation. IFI16 mRNA was differentially expressed in B-cell subsets with significant decrease in IFI16 mRNA in GC and PCs with respect to naïve and memory subsets. IFI16 mRNA expression is inversely correlated with a few master regulators of B-cell differentiation such as BCL6, XBP1, POU2AF1, and BLIMP1. In contrast, IFI16 expression positively correlated with STAT3, REL, SPIB, RELA, RELB, IRF4, STAT5B, and STAT5A. ARACNE algorithm indicated a direct regulation of IFI16 by BCL6, STAT5B, and RELB, whereas the relationship between IFI16 and the other factors is modulated by intermediate factors. In addition, analysis of the CD40 signaling pathway showed that IFI16 gene expression directly correlated with NF-B activation, indicating that IFI16 could be considered an upstream modulator of NF-B in human B-cells.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy