Signatures of the immune response

Immunity. 2001 Sep;15(3):375-85. doi: 10.1016/s1074-7613(01)00194-7.


A compendium of global gene expression measurements from DNA microarray analysis of immune cells identifies gene expression signatures defining various lineages, differentiation stages, and signaling pathways. Germinal center (GC) B cells represent a discrete stage of differentiation with a unique gene expression signature. This includes genes involved in proliferation, as evidenced by high expression of G2/M phase regulators and low expression of ribosomal and metabolic genes that are transcriptional targets of c-myc. GC B cells also lack expression of the NF-kappaB signature genes, which may favor apoptosis. Finally, the transcriptional repression signature of BCL-6 reveals how this factor can prevent terminal differentiation of B cells and cause B cell lymphomas.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • B-Lymphocytes / physiology*
  • Calcium Signaling
  • Cell Lineage
  • Humans
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • NF-kappa B / metabolism
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis*
  • RNA, Messenger / chemistry
  • T-Lymphocytes / physiology*


  • NF-kappa B
  • RNA, Messenger