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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Interaction of murine precursor B cell receptor with stroma cells is controlled by the unique tail of lambda 5 and stroma cell-associated heparan sulfate.

Efficient clonal expansion of early precursor B (pre-B) cells requires signals delivered by an Ig-like integral membrane complex, the so-called pre-B cell receptor (pre-BCR). A pre-BCR consists of two membrane micro H chains, two covalently associated surrogate L chains, and the heterodimeric signaling transducer Igalphabeta. In contrast to a conventional Ig L chain, the surrogate L chain is a heterodimer composed of the invariant polypeptides VpreB and lambda5. Although it is still unclear how pre-BCR signals are initiated, two recent findings support a ligand-dependent initiation of pre-BCR signals: 1) a pre-BCR/ galectin-1 interaction is required to induce phosphorylation of Igalphabeta in a human precursor B line, and 2) soluble murine as well as human pre-BCR molecules bind to stroma and other adherent cells. In this study, we show that efficient binding of a soluble murine pre-BCR to stroma cells requires the non-Ig-like unique tail of lambda5. Surprisingly however, a murine pre-BCR, in contrast to its human counterpart, does not interact with galectin-1, as revealed by lactose blocking, RNA interference, and immunoprecipitation assays. Finally, the binding of a murine pre-BCR to stroma cells can be blocked either with heparin or by pretreatment of stroma cells with heparitinase or a sulfation inhibitor. Hence, efficient binding of a murine pre-BCR to stroma cells requires the unique tail of lambda5 and stroma cell-associated heparan sulfate. These findings not only identified heparan sulfate as potential pre-BCR ligands, but will also facilitate the development of appropriate animal models to determine whether a pre-BCR/heparan sulfate interaction is involved in early B cell maturation.[1]


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