Decreased expression of Krüppel-like factors in memory B cells induces the rapid response typical of secondary antibody responses

Kim Good, Stuart G. Tangye

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94 Citations (Scopus)


Secondary antibody responses are characterized by the rapid kinetics of the responding cells, including the production of larger amounts of serum Ig compared with the primary response. Memory B cells, which are responsible for this phenomenon, undergo greater proliferation and differentiation into Ig-secreting plasma cells than naïve B cells. We have found that memory cells rapidly enter cell division, irrespective of extrinsic stimuli. Microarray analysis of human splenic B cells revealed that naive cells express higher levels than memory B cells of Krüppel-like factor (KLF) 4, KLF9, and promyelocyte leukemia zinc finger (PLZF), transcription factors important in maintaining cellular quiescence. These genes were down-regulated after activation through CD40 and the B cell receptor. Enforced expression of KLF4, KLF9, and PLZF in memory B cells delayed their entry into division and reduced the number of proliferating cells, such that the behavior of transfected memory cells resembled that of naïve B cells. Thus, the accelerated response of memory B cells correlates with reduced expression of KLF4, KLF9, and PLZF and the subsequent regulatory effects they exert on the cell cycle.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13420-13425
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number33
Publication statusPublished - 14 Aug 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Cellular quiescence
  • Human B cells
  • Immunological memory
  • Lymphocyte activation
  • Proliferation

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