Signal Transduction via the B Cell Antigen Receptor: Involvement of a G Protein and Regulation of Signaling

  • Anthony L. DeFranco
  • Michael R. Gold


The antigen receptor on B lymphocytes plays critical roles in B cell development and B cell activation. Antigen or anti-immunoglobulin stimulation of membrane IgM (mIgM) on immature B cells, such as those found in neonatal mice, results in the functional inactivation of the B cell1. This response, referred to as “clonal anergy” by Nossal and colleagues, would be expected to inactivate B cells with mIgM specific for autoantigens in the environment of the developing B cell, and hence may play a role in the generation of B cell tolerance. Stimulation of the antigen receptor on a mature B cell, on the other hand, contributes to the activation of that cell to proliferate and differentiate into antibody secreting cells2,3. In the case of the immature B cell,the antigen receptor must be acting as a signal transducing receptor, since this response can be seen at the single cell level4. In the case of B cell activation, mlg appears to play a dual role: it can serve,as a very efficient means of taking up antigen for presentation to helper T cells5–7. Additionaby, mlg can act as a signal transducing receptor, as revealed by the striking effects of anti-immunoglobulin antibodies on resting mature B cells8.


Cholera Toxin Phorbol Ester Pertussis Toxin Inositol Phosphate Phorbol Myristate Acetate 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anthony L. DeFranco
    • 1
  • Michael R. Gold
    • 1
  1. 1.Departments of Microbiology and Immunology and Biochemistry and BiophysicsUniversity of California, San FranciscoSan FranciscoUSA

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