Lymphoid-specific transcription mediated by the conserved octamer site: who is doing what?

Semin Immunol. 1998 Apr;10(2):155-63. doi: 10.1006/smim.1998.0117.


The conserved octamer site found in the promoters of Immunoglobulin (Ig) genes has been identified early on as a key element for B cell-specific Ig promoter activity and has also been associated with expression of other B cell-specific genes. Several transcription factors--ubiquitous or cell-restricted--interact specifically with the octamer motif in B cells: Oct-1 and Oct-2 are POU domain transcription factors that bind directly to the octamer site and thereby can recruit the coactivator OBF-1 to the promoters of various genes. Yet, in spite of intense work, the precise role played by each of these factors for transcription activation through the octamer motif is unclear. In particular, genetic inactivation in mice of the lymphoid cell-specific transcription factor Oct-2 or of the B cell-specific coactivator OBF-1 led to surprising findings that are being discussed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • B-Lymphocytes / cytology
  • Binding Sites
  • Bone Marrow Cells
  • Conserved Sequence
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / physiology*
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Genes, Immunoglobulin*
  • Host Cell Factor C1
  • Lymphocytes / cytology
  • Mice
  • Octamer Transcription Factor-1
  • Octamer Transcription Factor-2
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic*
  • Trans-Activators / genetics
  • Trans-Activators / metabolism
  • Trans-Activators / physiology*
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Transcription Factors / physiology*
  • Transcription, Genetic*


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Hcfc1 protein, mouse
  • Host Cell Factor C1
  • Octamer Transcription Factor-1
  • Octamer Transcription Factor-2
  • Pou2af1 protein, mouse
  • Pou2f1 protein, mouse
  • Pou2f2 protein, mouse
  • Trans-Activators
  • Transcription Factors