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J Exp Med. 2010 Apr 12;207(4):711-9. doi: 10.1084/jem.20091303. Epub 2010 Mar 15.

Arginine methylation of the B cell antigen receptor promotes differentiation.

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  • 1Center for Biological Signaling Studies, Faculty of Biology, Albert-Ludwigs-University of Freiburg, 79104 Freiburg, Germany.


Signals processed through the B cell antigen receptor (BCR) control both the proliferation and differentiation of B lymphocytes. How these different signaling modes are established at the BCR is poorly understood. We show that a conserved arginine in the tail sequence of the Igalpha subunit of the BCR is methylated by the protein arginine methyltransferase 1. This modification negatively regulates the calcium and PI-3 kinase pathways of the BCR while promoting signals leading to B cell differentiation. Thus, Igalpha arginine methylation can play an important role in specifying the outcome of BCR signaling.

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