ETV6-RUNX1 is associated with childhood acute B-lymphoblastic leukemia (cALL) functioning as a first-hit mutation that initiates a clinically silent pre-leukemia in utero. Because lineage commitment hierarchies differ between embryo and adult, and the impact of oncogenes is cell-context dependent, we hypothesized that the childhood affiliation of ETV6-RUNX1 cALL reflects its origins in a progenitor unique to embryonic life. We characterize the first emerging B cells in first-trimester human embryos, identifying a developmentally restricted CD19-IL-7R+ progenitor compartment, which transitions from a myeloid to lymphoid program during ontogeny. This developmental series is recapitulated in differentiating human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs), thereby providing a model for the initiation of cALL. Genome-engineered hPSCs expressing ETV6-RUNX1 from the endogenous ETV6 locus show expansion of the CD19-IL-7R+ compartment, show a partial block in B lineage commitment, and produce proB cells with aberrant myeloid gene expression signatures and potential: features (collectively) consistent with a pre-leukemic state.
Secretory immunoglobulin A (SIgA) enhances host-microbiota symbiosis, whereas SIgM remains poorly understood. We found that gut IgM+ plasma cells (PCs) were more abundant in humans than mice and clonally related to a large repertoire of memory IgM+ B cells disseminated throughout the intestine but rare in systemic lymphoid organs. In addition to sharing a gut-specific gene signature with memory IgA+ B cells, memory IgM+ B cells were related to some IgA+ clonotypes and switched to IgA in response to T cell-independent or T cell-dependent signals. These signals induced abundant IgM which, together with SIgM from clonally affiliated PCs, recognized mucus-embedded commensals. Bacteria recognized by human SIgM were dually coated by SIgA and showed increased richness and diversity compared to IgA-only-coated or uncoated bacteria. Thus, SIgM may emerge from pre-existing memory rather than newly activated naive IgM+ B cells and could help SIgA to anchor highly diverse commensal communities to mucus.