Ten-eleven translocation (TET) enzymes oxidize 5-methylcytosine, facilitating DNA demethylation and generating new epigenetic marks. Here we show that concomitant loss of Tet2 and Tet3 in mice at early B cell stage blocked the pro- to pre-B cell transition in the bone marrow, decreased Irf4 expression and impaired the germline transcription and rearrangement of the Igκ locus. Tet2/3-deficient pro-B cells showed increased CpG methylation at the Igκ 3' and distal enhancers that was mimicked by depletion of E2A or PU.1, as well as a global decrease in chromatin accessibility at enhancers. Importantly, re-expression of the Tet2 catalytic domain in Tet2/3-deficient B cells resulted in demethylation of the Igκ enhancers and restored their chromatin accessibility. Our data suggest that TET proteins and lineage-specific transcription factors cooperate to influence chromatin accessibility and Igκ enhancer function by modulating the modification status of DNA.
Keywords: 5hmC; B cell development; DNA methylation; Tet proteins; chromosomes; genes; immunology; mouse.