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Immunity. 2004 Nov;21(5):681-91.

Grb2 and the non-T cell activation linker NTAL constitute a Ca(2+)-regulating signal circuit in B lymphocytes.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Immunology, University of Bielefeld, 33615 Bielefeld, Germany.


Activation of the B cell antigen receptor triggers phosphorylation of cytoplasmic and transmembrane adaptor proteins such as SLP-65 and NTAL, respectively. Specific phosphoacceptor sites in SLP-65 serve as docking sites for Ca(2+)-mobilizing enzymes Btk and PLC-gamma2. Phosphorylated NTAL recruits the Grb2 linker, but downstream signaling cascades are unclear. We now show that receptor-induced tyrosine phosphorylation of NTAL and concomitant Grb2 complex formation critically modulate the Ca(2+) response without affecting SLP-65 and PLC-gamma2 phosphorylation. Grb2 turned out to play a negative regulatory role, which appears to be eliminated upon binding to NTAL. This allows for a sustained release of intracellular Ca(2+) and is mandatory for subsequent entry of Ca(2+) from extracellular sources. Thus, elevation of Ca(2+) is regulated by at least two signaling modules, the B cell-specific Ca(2+) initiation complex comprising SLP-65, Btk, and PLC-gamma2 and the more ubiquitously expressed NTAL/Grb2 complex, which acts as an amplifier by switching off inhibitory elements.

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