The maturation of immature B cells and the survival of mature B cells is stringently controlled to maintain a diverse repertoire of antibody specificities while avoiding self-reactivity. At the molecular level this is regulated by signaling from membrane Ig and the BAFF-receptor that sustain a pro-survival program of gene expression. Whether and how posttranscriptional mechanisms contribute to B cell maturation and survival remains poorly understood. Here, we show that the polypyrimidine tract binding proteins (PTBP) PTBP1 and PTBP3 bind to a large and overlapping set of transcripts in B cells. Both PTBP1 and PTBP3 bind to introns and exons where they are predicted to regulate alternative splicing. Moreover, they also show high-density of binding to 3' untranslated regions suggesting they influence the transcriptome in diverse ways. We show that PTBP1 and PTBP3 are required in B cells beyond the immature cell stage to sustain transitional B cells and the B1, marginal zone and follicular B cell lineages. Therefore, PTBP1 and PTBP3 promote the maturation of quiescent B cells by regulating gene expression at the posttranscriptional level.
Eur J Immunol
2266 - 2273
PTBP1, PTBP3, RNA binding proteins, mature B cells, posttranscriptional gene expression regulation