The transcription factors (TFs) that controls the intricate machinery of multistep differentiation and activation programs of the lymphoid system, represent a complex array of proteins, whose identification and function has only in part been completed. TFs are usually expressed during specific differentiation or activation cellular programs, making them interesting tools in diagnostic immunohistochemistry. In fact, the specificity of some of these TFs for lineage or activation/differentiation passages or their abnormal expression in specific disease entity, represents a feature that has been exploited in diagnostic/prognostic immunohistochemistry. Bcl-6 was the prototype of this class of markers. Currently, the expanding knowledge of the TFs involved in the differentiation programs and in the activation processes of T-lymphocyte and B-lymphocyte in normal and neoplastic conditions and the availability of antibodies able to efficiently recognize these TFs in histologic material, represent a powerful tool in diagnostic hematopathology. In this review we will consider the basic biologic aspects and the applications in hematopathology of some of the lymphocyte-related TFs, including Pax5/BSAB, MUM1/IRF4, BOB1, Oct-2, T-bet, and FOXP3. This field is rapidly evolving, as witnessed by the ongoing growing number of novel TFs with possible diagnostic applications appearing in the literature.
- Transcription factor
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine