The human positive regulatory domain I-binding factor 1 (PRDI-BF1) and its murine homolog Blimp-1 promote differentiation of mature B cells into Ab-secreting plasma cells. In contrast, ectopic expression of PRDI-BF1 in lymphoma cells can lead to inhibition of proliferation or apoptosis. However, little is currently known about the regulation of PRDM1, the gene encoding PRDI-BF1. This report establishes that in lymphoma cells stimulation through the BCR rapidly induces endogenous PRDM1 at the level of transcription with minor changes in mRNA stability. The induced PRDM1-encoded protein localizes to its target genes in vivo and suppresses their expression. In vivo genomic footprinting of the PRDM1 promoter in unstimulated lymphoma and myeloma cells reveals multiple common in vivo occupied elements throughout the promoter. Further functional and structural analysis of the promoter reveals that the promoter is preloaded and poised for activation in the B cell lines. The transcription factor PU.1 is shown to be required for the BCR-induced expression of PRDM1 in lymphoma cells and in PU.1-positive myeloma cells. Activation of PRDM1 is associated with loss of the corepressor transducin-like enhancer of split 4 from the PU.1 complex. These findings indicate that PRDM1 is poised for activation in lymphoma cells and therefore may be a potential therapeutic target to inhibit lymphoma cell proliferation and survival.