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J Immunol. 2002 Aug 1;169(3):1365-71.

The Rap GTPases regulate B cell migration toward the chemokine stromal cell-derived factor-1 (CXCL12): potential role for Rap2 in promoting B cell migration.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.


Stromal cell-derived factor-1 (SDF-1) is a potent chemoattractant for B cells and B cell progenitors. Although the binding of SDF-1 to its receptor, CXCR4, activates multiple signaling pathways, the mechanism by which SDF-1 regulates cell migration is not completely understood. In this report we show that activation of the Rap GTPases is important for B cells to migrate toward SDF-1. We found that treating B cells with SDF-1 resulted in the rapid activation of both Rap1 and Rap2. Moreover, blocking the activation of Rap1 and Rap2 via the expression of a Rap-specific GTPase-activating protein significantly reduced the ability of B cells to migrate toward SDF-1. Conversely, expressing a constitutively active form of Rap2 increased SDF-1-induced B cell migration. Thus, the Rap GTPases control cellular processes that are important for B cells to migrate toward SDF-1.

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