BCL-6, a transcriptional repressor frequently translocated in lymphomas, regulates germinal center B cell differentiation and inflammation. DNA microarray screening identified genes repressed by BCL-6, including many lymphocyte activation genes, suggesting that BCL-6 modulates B cell receptor signals. BCL-6 repression of two chemokine genes, MIP-1alpha and IP-10, may also attenuate inflammatory responses. Blimp-1, another BCL-6 target, is important for plasmacytic differentiation. Since BCL-6 expression is silenced in plasma cells, repression of blimp-1 by BCL-6 may control plasmacytic differentiation. Indeed, inhibition of BCL-6 function initiated changes indicative of plasmacytic differentiation, including decreased expression of c-Myc and increased expression of the cell cycle inhibitor p27kip1. These data suggest that malignant transformation by BCL-6 involves inhibition of differentiation and enhanced proliferation.