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Immunity. 2007 Mar;26(3):323-33. Epub 2007 Mar 1.

Conventional light chains inhibit the autonomous signaling capacity of the B cell receptor.

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Institute for Biology III, Albert-Ludwigs University of Freiburg and Max Planck Institute for Immunobiology, Stuebeweg 51, 79108 Freiburg, Germany.


Signals from the B cell antigen receptor (BCR), consisting of mu heavy chain (muHC) and conventional light chain (LC), and its precursor the pre-BCR, consisting of muHC and surrogate light chain (SLC), via the adaptor protein SLP-65 regulate the development and function of B cells. Here, we compare the effect of SLC and conventional LC expression on receptor-induced Ca(2+) flux in B cells expressing an inducible form of SLP-65. We found that SLC expression strongly enhanced an autonomous ability of muHC to induce Ca(2+) flux irrespective of additional receptor crosslinking. In contrast, LC expression reduced this autonomous muHC ability and resulted in antigen-dependent Ca(2+) flux. These data indicate that autonomous ligand-independent signaling can be induced by receptor forms other than the pre-BCR. In addition, our data suggest that conventional LCs play an important role in the inhibition of autonomous receptor signaling, thereby allowing further B cell differentiation.

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