Transcription elongation factor ELL2 drives immunoglobulin secretory specific mRNA production and the unfolded protein response

Author(s): Park KS, Bayles I, Szlachta-McGinn A, Paul J, Boiko J, et al.


Differentiation of B cells into Ab-secreting cells induces changes in gene transcription, IgH RNA processing, the unfolded protein response (UPR), and cell architecture. The transcription elongation factor eleven nineteen lysine-rich leukemia gene (ELL2) stimulates the processing of the secreted form of the IgH mRNA from the H chain gene. Mice (mus musculus) with the ELL2 gene floxed in either exon 1 or exon 3 were constructed and crossed to CD19-driven cre/CD19+. The B cell–specific ELL2 conditional knockouts (cKOs; ell2loxp/loxp CD19cre/+) exhibit curtailed humoral responses both in 4-hydroxy-3-nitrophenyl acetyl–Ficoll and in 4-hydroxy-3-nitrophenyl acetyl–keyhole limpet hemocyanin immunized animals; recall responses were also diminished. The number of immature and recirculating B cells in the bone marrow is increased in the cKOs, whereas plasma cells in spleen are reduced relative to control animals. There are fewer IgG1 Ab-producing cells in the bone marrow of cKOs. LPS ex vivo–stimulated B220loCD138+ cells from ELL2-deficient mouse spleens are 4-fold less abundant than from control splenic B cells; have a paucity of secreted IgH; and have distended, abnormal-appearing endoplasmic reticulum. IRE1α is efficiently phosphorylated, but the amounts of Ig κ, ATF6, BiP, Cyclin B2, OcaB (BOB1, Pou2af1), and XBP1 mRNAs, unspliced and spliced, are severely reduced in ELL2-deficient cells. ELL2 enhances the expression of BCMA (also known as Tnfrsf17), which is important for long-term survival. Transcription yields from the cyclin B2 and the canonical UPR promoter elements are upregulated by ELL2 cDNA. Thus, ELL2 is important for many aspects of Ab secretion, XBP1 expression, and the UPR.

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