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Science. 2001 Feb 23;291(5508):1537-40.

TCR-induced transmembrane signaling by peptide/MHC class II via associated Ig-alpha/beta dimers.

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Integrated Department of Immunology, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, and National Jewish Medical and Research Center, 1400 Jackson Street, Denver, CO 80206, USA.


Previous findings suggest that during cognate T cell-B cell interactions, major histocompatability complex (MHC) class II molecules transduce signals, leading to Src-family kinase activation, Ca2+ mobilization, and proliferation. Here, we show that antigen stimulation of resting B cells induces MHC class II molecules to associate with Immunoglobulin (Ig)-alpha/Ig-beta (CD79a/CD79b) heterodimers, which function as signal transducers upon MHC class II aggregation by the T cell receptor (TCR). The B cell receptor (BCR) and MHC class II/Ig-alpha/Ig-beta are distinct complexes, yet class II-associated Ig-alpha/beta appears to be derived from BCR. Hence, Ig-alpha/beta are used in a sequential fashion for transduction of antigen and cognate T cell help signals.

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