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Immunity. 1999 Nov;11(5):537-45.

Ig-alpha cytoplasmic truncation renders immature B cells more sensitive to antigen contact.

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Department of Immunology, Institute for Genetics, University of Cologne, Germany.


To study the function of Ig-alpha in the selection of autoreactive B cells, we have analyzed mb-1 cytoplasmic truncation mutant mice (mb-1delta(c)/delta(c)), which coexpress transgenes encoding hen egg lysozyme (HEL) and HEL-specific immunoglobulin. We demonstrate that in the presence of soluble HEL (sHEL) and dependent on the mb-1delta(c) mutation, most immature B cells bearing the HEL-specific Ig transgene undergo rearrangements of endogenous kappa light chains, resulting in loss of HEL specificity. Moreover, immature B cells from Ig-alpha mutant mice respond to BCR cross-linking with an exaggerated and prolonged calcium response and induction of protein tyrosine phosphorylation. Our data imply a negative signaling role for Ig-alpha in immature B cells.

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