Noxa mediates p18(INK4c) cell-cycle control of homeostasis in B cells and plasma cell precursors

J Bretz, J Garcia, X Huang, L Kang, Yang Zhang, Kai-Michael Toellner, S Chen-Kiang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Citations (Scopus)


Inhibition of Cdk4/Cdk6 by p18(INK4c) (p18) is pivotal for generation of noncycling immunoglobulin (Ig)-secreting plasma cells (PCs). In the absence of p18, CD138(+) plasmacytoid cells continue to cycle and turnover rapidly, suggesting that p18 controls PC homeostasis. We now show that p18 selectively acts in a rare population of rapidly cycling CD138(hl)/B220(hl) intermediate PCs (iPCs). While retaining certain B-cell signatures, iPCs are poised to differentiate to end-stage PCs although the majority undergo apoptosis. p18 is dispensable for the development of the PC transcriptional circuitry, and Blimp-1 and Bcl-6 are expressed fully and mutually exclusively in individual iPCs. However, a minor proportion of iPCs express both, and they are preferentially protected by p18 or Bcl-xL overexpression, consistent with expansion of the iPC pool by Bcl-xL overexpression, or loss of proapoptotic Bim or Noxa. Expres- sion of Noxa is induced during B-cell activation, peaks in iPCs, and selectively repressed by p18. It is required to promote apoptosis of cycling B cells, especially in the absence of p18. These findings define the first physiologic function for Noxa and suggest that by repressing Noxa, induction of G(1) arrest by p18 bypasses a homeostatic cell-cycle checkpoint in iPCs for PC differentiation. (Blood. 2011;117(7):2179-2188)
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2179-2188
Number of pages10
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2011


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