Integration of external signals and B-lymphoid transcription factor activities organise B cell lineage commitment through alternating cycles of proliferation and differentiation, producing a diverse repertoire of mature B cells. We use single-cell transcriptomics/proteomics to identify differentially expressed gene networks across B cell development and correlate these networks with subtypes of B cell leukemia. Here we show unique transcriptional signatures that refine the pre-B cell expansion stages into pre-BCR-dependent and pre-BCR-independent proliferative phases. These changes correlate with reciprocal changes in expression of the transcription factor EBF1 and the RNA binding protein YBX3, that are defining features of the pre-BCR-dependent stage. Using pseudotime analysis, we further characterize the expression kinetics of different biological modalities across B cell development, including transcription factors, cytokines, chemokines, and their associated receptors. Our findings demonstrate the underlying heterogeneity of developing B cells and characterise developmental nodes linked to B cell transformation.
© 2021. The Author(s).