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Immunity. 2003 Feb;18(2):243-53.

Sequential waves of functionally related proteins are expressed when B cells prepare for antibody secretion.

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Department of Bio-organic Chemistry-1, Bijvoet Center, Utrecht University, Padualaan 8, 3584 CH, Utrecht, The Netherlands.


Upon encounter with antigen, B lymphocytes differentiate into Ig-secreting plasma cells. This step involves a massive development of secretory organelles, most notably the endoplasmic reticulum. To analyze the relationship between organelle reshaping and Ig secretion, we performed a dynamic proteomics study of B lymphoma cells undergoing in vitro terminal differentiation. By clustering proteins according to temporal expression patterns, it appeared that B cells anticipate their secretory role in a multistep process. Metabolic capacity and secretory machinery expand first to accommodate the mass production of IgM that follows.

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