Research ArticleImmunology

Monovalent and Multivalent Ligation of the B Cell Receptor Exhibit Differential Dependence upon Syk and Src Family Kinases

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Science Signaling  01 Jan 2013:
Vol. 6, Issue 256, pp. ra1
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.2003220

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Unlike T cells, B cells respond to soluble antigens, which can either be monomeric or multimeric, the latter of which induce clustering of the B cell receptor (BCR). Antigen-mediated stimulation of T and B cells involves two distinct sets of tyrosine kinases: the Src family kinases (SFKs) and the Syk family. To understand how these two kinase families contribute to B cell activation, Mukherjee et al. mathematically modeled the contributions of SFKs and Syk to BCR signaling and verified their findings in cells. In response to soluble multimeric, BCR-clustering antigens, Syk was sufficient to mediate B cell activation, albeit with slow kinetics. However, in response to soluble monomeric antigens, which failed to induce BCR clustering, both families of kinases were required. Together, these data suggest that SFKs increase the sensitivity of B cells to monomeric antigens and ensure B cell activation.

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