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Science 291 (5508): 1537-1540

Copyright © 2001 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

TCR-Induced Transmembrane Signaling by Peptide/MHC Class II Via Associated Ig-alpha /beta Dimers

Paul Lang,1* John C. Stolpa,1* Benjamin A. Freiberg,1 Frances Crawford,2 John Kappler,2 Abraham Kupfer,1 John C. Cambier1dagger

Previous findings suggest that during cognate T cell-B cell interactions, major histocompatability complex (MHC) class II molecules transduce signals, leading to Src-family kinase activation, Ca2+ mobilization, and proliferation. Here, we show that antigen stimulation of resting B cells induces MHC class II molecules to associate with Immunoglobulin (Ig)-alpha /Ig-beta (CD79a/CD79b) heterodimers, which function as signal transducers upon MHC class II aggregation by the T cell receptor (TCR). The B cell receptor (BCR) and MHC class II/Ig-alpha /Ig-beta are distinct complexes, yet class II-associated Ig-alpha /beta appears to be derived from BCR. Hence, Ig-alpha /beta are used in a sequential fashion for transduction of antigen and cognate T cell help signals.

1 Integrated Department of Immunology, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, and National Jewish Medical and Research Center, 1400 Jackson Street, Denver, CO 80206, USA.
2 Howard Hughes Medical Institute, National Jewish Medical and Research Center, 1400 Jackson Street, Denver, CO 80206, USA.
*   These authors contributed equally to the work.

dagger    To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: cambierj{at}

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