The protein encoded by this gene is an evolutionarily conserved zinc finger transcription factor and contains an N-terminal POZ/BTB domain. This protein acts as a sequence-specific repressor of transcription, and has been shown to modulate the STAT-dependent Interleukin 4 (IL-4) responses of B cells. This protein can interact with several corepressor complexes to inhibit transcription. This gene is found to be frequently translocated and hypermutated in diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL), and contributes to the pathogenesis of DLBCL. An exon 7 skipping splice variant encodes a shorter form of the protein which lacks the first two zinc fingers of the DNA binding domain.
Physiologically, BCL6 is a master transcription factor which leads the differentiation of naive helper T cells in Follicular Helper T cells (TFH cells). Its action is negatively regulated by the gene PRDM1 encoding the transcription factor Blimp-1.
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