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J Immunol. 2002 Jul 15;169(2):865-72.

B cell progenitors are arrested in maturation but have intact VDJ recombination in the absence of Ig-alpha and Ig-beta.

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Biologie III, University of Freiburg and Max-Planck-Institute for Immunobiology, Freiburg, Germany.


Ig-alpha and Ig-beta mediate surface expression and signaling of diverse B cell receptor complexes on precursor, immature, and mature B cells. Their expression begins before that of the Ig chains in early progenitor B cells. In this study, we describe the generation of Ig-alpha-deficient mice and their comparative analysis to mice deficient for Ig-beta, the membrane-IgM, and recombination-activating gene 2 to determine the requirement of Ig-alpha and Ig-beta in survival and differentiation of pro-B cells. We find that in the absence of Ig-alpha, B cell development does not progress beyond the progenitor stage, similar to what is observed in humans lacking this molecule. However, neither in Ig-alpha- nor in Ig-beta-deficient mice are pro-B cells impaired in V(D)J recombination, in the expression of intracellular Ig micro-chains, or in surviving in the bone marrow microenvironment. Finally, Ig-alpha and Ig-beta are not redundant in their putative function, as pro-B cells from Ig-alpha and Ig-beta double-deficient mice are similar to those from single-deficient animals in every aspect analyzed.

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