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Semin Immunol. 2001 Apr;13(2):107-14.

Floating the raft hypothesis: the roles of lipid rafts in B cell antigen receptor function.

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Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Cell Biology, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208, USA.


The initiation of antibody responses to foreign antigens requires that B cells receive and integrate a variety of signals through an array of cell surface receptors including the B cell antigen receptor (BCR) as well as a number of essential coreceptors. Recent evidence indicates that cholesterol-rich plasma membrane microdomains, referred to here as lipid rafts, serve as platforms for BCR signaling and trafficking in B cells. The existence of rafts suggests a previously unappreciated level of organization at the B cell surface that may explain, at least in part, how BCR signaling is coordinated. Here the current evidence that lipid rafts play a key role in B cell responses is reviewed.

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