TCR-Induced Transmembrane Signaling by Peptide/MHC Class II Via Associated Ig-α/β Dimers

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Science  23 Feb 2001:
Vol. 291, Issue 5508, pp. 1537-1540
DOI: 10.1126/science.291.5508.1537

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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)-α/Ig-β (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-α/Ig-β are distinct complexes, yet class II–associated Ig-α/β appears to be derived from BCR. Hence, Ig-α/β are used in a sequential fashion for transduction of antigen and cognate T cell help signals.

  • * These authors contributed equally to the work.

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

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