Assembly and Function of Immunoglobulins During B Cell Development

  • R. Sitia
Part of the Topics in Neuroscience book series (TOPNEURO)


In all multicellular organisms, individual cells must continuously exchange information. In general, they do so by secreting ligand molecules into the extracellular space, and expressing suitable receptors on their surfaces. The fidelity of intercellular communication thus depends on the specificity of the interactions between ligands and receptors, which is in turn determined by the three-dimensional structure of the molecules involved. As many of these molecules are complex oligomeric structures, correct execution of the folding and assembly pathways becomes of paramount importance for the social life of all cells. It is therefore not surprising that cells have evolved sophisticated quality control mechanisms to ensure that the molecules they release into the external world have attained their proper structure. Over the last decade, a vast series of investigations have been conducted to dissect the molecular mechanisms underlying the quality control of newly synthesized proteins destined for export. In the same manner that immunoglobulin (Ig) genes have provided a rich source of information for molecular biologists, the products of these genes, the antibodies, have become a favorite model for studying the basic principles of protein synthesis, assembly and secretion. This was largely due to the availability of powerful model systems, such as cell hybridomas or transfectomas producing various forms and types of immunoglobulins in large amounts.


Endoplasmic Reticulum Endoplasmic Reticulum Membrane Endoplasmic Reticulum Lumen BCell Development Endoplasmic Reticulum Retention 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Sitia
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Molecular ImmunologyDIBIT-San Raffaele Scientific InstituteMilanItaly

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