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Curr Opin Immunol. 1997 Jun;9(3):296-308.

The complexity of signaling pathways activated by the BCR.

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George Williams Hooper Foundation, Department of Microbiology, University of California, San Francisco, CA 94143-0552, USA.


Cross-linking of the B cell antigen receptor (BCR) leads to the activation of three types of intracellular protein tyrosine kinases. These tyrosine kinases then phosphorylate signaling components to activate a variety of signaling reactions, including phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate hydrolysis, Ras activation, and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase activation. Each of these signaling reactions, and also the signaling molecules Vav and HS1, appears to be important for at least some of the many types of B cell responses to antigen. The complexity of BCR signaling reactions may be required to allow the B cell to respond in a number of distinct ways to antigen (proliferation, survival, apoptosis, maturational arrest, etc.) depending on the maturation state of the B cell, the location in the body, the physical nature of the antigen, and the possible presence of the antigen in complex with antibody or complement components.

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