The BCL6 proto-oncogene, frequently alterated in non-Hodgkin lymphoma, encodes a POZ/zinc finger protein that localizes into discrete nuclear subdomains. Upon prolonged BCL6 overexpression in cells bearing an inducible BCL6 allele (UTA-L cells), these subdomains apparently coincide with sites of DNA synthesis. Here, we explore the relationship between BCL6 and replication by both electron and confocal laser scanning microscopy. First, by electron microscope analyses, we found that endogenous BCL6 is associated with replication foci. Moreover, we show that a relatively low expression level of BCL6 reached after a brief induction in UTA-L cells is sufficient to observe its targeting to mid, late, and at least certain early replication foci visualized by a pulse-labeling with bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU). In addition, when UTA-L cells are simultaneously induced for BCL6 expression and exposed to BrdU for a few hours just after the release from a block in mitosis, a nuclear diffuse BCL6 staining indicates cells in G1, while cells in S show a more punctate nuclear BCL6 distribution associated with replication foci. Finally, ultrastructural analyses in UTA-L cells exposed to BrdU for various times reveal that replication progresses just around, but not within, BCL6 subdomains. Thus, nascent DNA is localized near, but not colocalized with, BCL6 subdomains, suggesting that they play an architectural role influencing positioning and/or assembly of replication foci. Together with its previously function as transcription repressor recruiting a histone deacetylase complex, BCL6 may therefore contribute to link nuclear organization, replication, and chromatin-mediated regulation
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