2010 | Achievement and Award
Discovery of a gene circuit to regulate antibody production - Toward the development of treatment strategies of autoimmune diseases and allergies
Antibodies are secreted from plasma cells and play an important role to protect the body against bacteria and viruses. An abnormality in antibody production may cause autoimmune diseases such as connective tissue disease and allergies. Plasma cells differentiate from B-lymphocytes promoted by Blimp-1, a master regulatory factor. This regulatory mechanism has not been elucidated.
A research group led by Professor Kazuhiko Igarashi and Senior Assistant Professor Akihiko Muto at Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine discovered that Bach2, a transcription factor, represses Blimp-1gene to inhibit plasma cell differentiation and to promote antibody class switch. The achievement was acquired in collaboration with other institutions including Tohoku University International Advanced Research and Education Organization and Research Institute for Radiation Biology and Medicine, Hiroshima University. Bach2 and its gene circuit could be a treatment target for autoimmune diseases and allergies because interference of the gene circuit is expected to change amounts and function of antibody produced from plasma cells.
The research result will be published on line in EMBO Journal, issued by European Molecular Biology Organization on October 15, 2010. The paper’s title is “Bach2 represses plasma cell gene regulatory network in B cells to promote antibody class switch.”
More Information (Japanese)
Professor Kazuhiko Igarashi
Senior Assistant Professor Akihiko Muto
Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine
TEL: +81-22-717-7596, FAX: +81-22-717-7598
Associate Professor Fuji Nagami
Public Relations Office of Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine
TEL: +81-22-717-7908, FAX: +81-22-717-7923
E-mail: f-nagami*med.tohoku.ac.jp (Replace * with @)