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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 May 10;108(19):7926-31. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1016451108. Epub 2011 Apr 20.

Growth-factor receptor-bound protein-2 (Grb2) signaling in B cells controls lymphoid follicle organization and germinal center reaction.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Columbia University, New York, NY 10032, USA.


Grb2 (growth-factor receptor-bound protein-2) is a signaling adaptor that interacts with numerous receptors and intracellular signaling molecules. However, its role in B-cell development and function remains unknown. Here we show that ablation of Grb2 in B cells results in enhanced B-cell receptor signaling; however, mutant B cells do not form germinal centers in the spleen after antigen stimulation. Furthermore, mutant mice exhibit defects in splenic architecture resembling that observed in B-cell-specific lymphotoxin-β-deficient mice, including disruption of marginal zone and follicular dendritic cell networks. We find that grb2(-/-) B cells are defective in lymphotoxin-β expression. Although lymphotoxin can be up-regulated by chemokine CXCL13 and CD40 ligand stimulation in wild-type B cells, elevation of lymphotoxin expression in grb2(-/-) B cells is only induced by anti-CD40 but not by CXCL13. Our results thus define Grb2 as a nonredundant regulator that controls lymphoid follicle organization and germinal center reaction. Loss of Grb2 has no effect on B-cell chemotaxis to CXCL13, indicating that Grb2 executes this function by connecting the CXCR5 signaling pathway to lymphotoxin expression but not to chemotaxis.

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