Self-nonself Recognition through B-Cell Antigen Receptor



Receptors on innate immune cells that recognize pathogens, such as Toll-like receptors, have been diversified and selected through evolution. In contrast, antigen receptors on B and T lymphocytes diversify enormously in each individual: genes for these receptors composed of multiple various parts are assembled randomly through gene recombination during development of these cells throughout the life of the individuals. While T-cell antigen receptor (TCR) recognizes antigenic peptides of proteins presented on the self MHC, B-cell antigen receptor (BCR) recognizes essentially any kinds of molecules. It is miraculous that only a few genes generate a repertoire of receptors that match essentially all of the molecular structures existing on earth including even newly generated chemical compounds, the mechanisms for which have mostly been clarified to date as briefly mentioned below. It is also amazing that each of the enormous number of receptors recognizes almost single specific structure. Another surprise is that such diverse receptors in an individual do not react with any structures contained in the self body (self-antigens) in principle, which is called self-tolerance.


Receptor Editing Guanyl Nucleotide Exchange Factor 
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© Springer 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Medicinal and Life Science, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Division of Molecular Biology, Research Institute for Biological SciencesTokyo University of ScienceNoda, ChibaJapan

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