The transcriptional regulator E47, encoded by the E2A gene, is crucial to B lymphopoiesis. In BALB/c senescent mice (∼2 years old), the incidence of E47-expressing pro-B cells in vivo and E47 protein steady state levels in B cell precursors in vitro were reduced. Poor expression of E47 protein was a consequence of accelerated proteasome-mediated turnover and was associated with heightened ubiquitin modification of E2A-encoded proteins in aged B cell precursors. Both MAPK and Notch activity have been previously associated with E2A-encoded protein stability in lymphocytes. Aged B cell precursors exhibited heightened levels of MAPK activity reflected in increased levels of phospho-ERK proteins. Phosphorylation of E2A-enconded proteins was also increased in aged B cell precursors and pharmacologic inhibition of MEK-1 resulted in a partial restoration of their E47 protein. Both Notch proteins and their Delta-like ligands were detected comparably in young and aged B cell precursors. Either inhibition of Notch activation via gamma-secretase or Ab blockade of Notch-Delta-like ligand interactions partially restored E47 expression in aged B cell precursors. We hypothesize that increased MAPK activity promotes phosphorylation of E2A-encoded protein in aged B cell precursors. Subsequently, E2A-encoded proteins undergo ubiquitination and accelerated degradation in a Notch-dependent process. The dysregulation of E2A-encoded protein expression may contribute to the reductions seen in early B lymphopoiesis during murine senescence.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy