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Traffic. 2001 Jun;2(6):414-27.

The actin cytoskeleton is required for the trafficking of the B cell antigen receptor to the late endosomes.

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Department of Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA.


The B cell antigen receptor (BCR) plays two central roles in B cell activation: to internalize antigens for processing and presentation, and to initiate signal transduction cascades that both promote B cells to enter the cell cycle and facilitate antigen processing by accelerating antigen transport. An early event in B cell activation is the association of BCR with the actin cytoskeleton, and an increase in cellular F-actin. Current evidence indicates that the organization of actin filaments changes in response to BCR-signaling, making actin filaments good candidates for regulation of BCR-antigen targeting. Here, we have analyzed the role of actin filaments in BCR-mediated antigen transport, using actin filament-disrupting reagents, cytochalasin D and latrunculin B, and an actin filament-stabilizing reagent, jasplakinolide. Perturbing actin filaments, either by disrupting or stabilizing them, blocked the movement of BCR from the plasma membrane to late endosomes/lysosomes. Cytochalasin D-treatment dramatically reduced the rate of internalization of BCR, and blocked the movement of the BCR from early endosomes to late endosomes/lysosomes, without affecting BCR-signaling. Thus, BCR-trafficking requires functional actin filaments for both internalization and movement to late endosomes/lysosomes, defining critical control points in BCR-antigen targeting.

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