The ZFP36/Tis11 family of zinc-finger proteins regulate cellular processes by binding to adenine uridine rich elements in the 3' untranslated regions of various mRNAs and promoting their degradation. We show here that ZFP36L1 expression is largely extinguished during the transition from B cells to plasma cells, in a reciprocal pattern to that of ZFP36 and the plasma cell transcription factor, BLIMP1. Enforced expression of ZFP36L1 in the mouse BCL1 cell line blocked cytokine-induced differentiation while shRNA-mediated knock-down enhanced differentiation. Reconstruction of regulatory networks from microarray gene expression data using the ARACNe algorithm identified candidate mRNA targets for ZFP36L1 including BLIMP1. Genes that displayed down-regulation in plasma cells were significantly over-represented (P = <0.0001) in a set of previously validated ZFP36 targets suggesting that ZFP36L1 and ZFP36 target distinct sets of mRNAs during plasmacytoid differentiation. ShRNA-mediated knock-down of ZFP36L1 in BCL1 cells led to an increase in levels of BLIMP1 mRNA and protein, but not for mRNAs of other transcription factors that regulate plasmacytoid differentiation (xbp1, irf4, bcl6). Finally, ZFP36L1 significantly reduced the activity of a BLIMP1 3' untranslated region-driven luciferase reporter. Taken together, these findings suggest that ZFP36L1 negatively regulates plasmacytoid differentiation, at least in part, by targeting the expression of BLIMP1.
Nasir, A., Norton, J. D., Baou, M., Zekavati, A., Bijlmakers, M. J., Thompson, S., & Murphy, J. J. (2012). ZFP36L1 Negatively Regulates Plasmacytoid Differentiation of BCL1 Cells by Targeting BLIMP1 mRNA. PLoS ONE, 7(12). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0052187