It's all about change: the antigen-driven initiation of B-cell receptor signaling


B-cell responses are initiated by the binding of foreign antigens to the clonally distributed B-cell receptors (BCRs) resulting in the triggering of signaling cascades that activate a variety of genes associated with B-cell activation. Although we now understand the molecular nature of the signaling pathways in considerable detail what remains only poorly understood are the mechanisms by which the information that antigen has bound to the BCR ectodomain is transduced across the B-cell membrane to the BCR cytoplasmic domains to trigger signaling. To a large part this gap in knowledge is because of the paucity of techniques to temporally and spatially resolve changes in the behavior of the BCR that occur within several seconds of antigen binding. With the advent of new live-cell imaging technologies we are gaining our first clear views of the events that lead up to the triggering of BCR signaling cascades. These events may provide potential new targets for therapeutic intervention in disease involving hyper or chronic activation of B cells.

Journal details

Volume 2
Issue number 7
Pages a002295
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