Regulated apoptosis of germinal centre (GC) B cells is critical for normal humoral immune responses. ELL-associated factor 2 (EAF2) regulates transcription elongation and has been shown to be an androgen-responsive potential tumour suppressor in prostate by inducing apoptosis. Here we show that EAF2 is selectively upregulated in GC B cells among various immune cell types and promotes apoptosis of GC B cells both in vitro and in vivo. EAF2 deficiency results in enlarged GCs and elevated antibody production during a T-dependent immune response. After immunization with type II collagen, mice lacking EAF2 produce high levels of collagen-specific autoantibodies and rapidly develop severe arthritis. Moreover, the mutant mice spontaneously produce anti-dsDNA, rheumatoid factor and anti-nuclear antibodies as they age. These results demonstrate that EAF2-mediated apoptosis in GC B cells limits excessive humoral immune responses and is important for maintaining self-tolerance.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)