BCR mediated signal transduction in immature and mature B cells

Gábor Koncz, Csaba Bodor, Dorottya Kövesdi, Róbert Gáti, Gabriella Sármay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

42 Citations (Scopus)


Ligation of B cell receptors (BCR) on immature B cells may induce apoptosis, while in mature B cells it stimulates cell activation and growth. The signaling pathway regulating the differential functional response, death or survival of the B cell is not fully characterized. We have tested the intracellular signaling requirement of these processes using B cells isolated from the spleen of irradiated auto-reconstituted (transitional immature B cells) and untreated mice (mature B cells), respectively. We compared the BCR induced intracellular [Ca2+] transient, protein tyrosine phosphorylation and ERK phosphorylation, furthermore, the activation of Elk-1 and CREB transcription factors. The BCR induced rise of intracellular [Ca2+] did not significantly differ in the two populations, only a slight difference in the late phase of the response was observed. Immature B cells responded with a maximum tyrosine phosphorylation to a five times lower dose of anti-IgM compared to the mature population. Most importantly, we have found a significant difference in the tyrosine phosphorylation of the Gab family adaptor proteins, Gab1/2. In contrast to mature B cells, crosslinking of BCR on immature B cells did not induce tyrosine phosphorylation of Gab2, thus the Gab2-organized signal amplification complex could not be produced. Furthermore, we detected a significant difference in the kinetics of BCR induced ERK, Elk-1 and CREB phosphorylation. In immature B cells, ERK was transiently phosphorylated, ceasing after 120 min, while in mature cells, ERK phosphorylation was sustained. Elk-1 and CREB activation was also transient in immature B cells, followed the kinetics of ERK phosphorylation. The lack of sustained Erk1/2 activation suppresses the transcription factors necessary for the proliferation signal. Since ERK is regulated by the phosphorylated Gab1/2, these data demonstrate that BCR triggered phosphorylation and signal amplification of Gab1/2 is a critical step in a life or death decision of B cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-49
Number of pages9
JournalImmunology letters
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 3 2002



  • Apoptosis
  • B cell receptor
  • B cells
  • Development
  • Signaling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

Cite this