Previous studies have identified the immunological functions of transcription factor B lymphocyte-induced maturation protein-1 (Blimp-1) in various adaptive immune cell types such as T and B lymphocytes. More recently, it has been shown that Blimp-1 extends its functional roles to dendritic cells (DCs) and macrophages, two cell types belonging to the innate immune system. The protein acts as a direct and indirect regulator of target genes by recruiting chromatin modification factors and by regulating microRNA expression, respectively. In DCs, Blimp-1 has been identified as one of the components involved in antigen presentation. Genome-wide association studies identified polymorphisms associated with multiple autoimmune diseases such as system lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, and inflammatory bowel disease in PRDM1, the gene encoding Blimp-1 protein. In this review, we will discuss the immune regulatory functions of Blimp-1 in DCs with a main focus on the tolerogenic mechanisms of Blimp-1 required to protect against the development of autoimmune diseases.
School of Medicine