Conformational change within the extracellular domain of B cell receptor in B cell activation upon antigen binding.
ABSTRACT: B lymphocytes use B cell receptors (BCRs) to recognize antigens. It is still not clear how BCR transduces antigen-specific physical signals upon binding across cell membrane for the conversion to chemical signals, triggering downstream signaling cascades. It is hypothesized that through a series of conformational changes within BCR, antigen engagement in the extracellular domain of BCR is transduced to its intracellular domain. By combining site-specific labeling methodology and FRET-based assay, we monitored conformational changes in the extracellular domains within BCR upon antigen engagement. Conformational changes within heavy chain of membrane-bound immunoglobulin (mIg), as well as conformational changes in the spatial relationship between mIg and Ig? were observed. These conformational changes were correlated with the strength of BCR activation and were distinct in IgM- and IgG-BCR. These findings provide molecular mechanisms to explain the fundamental aspects of BCR activation and a framework to investigate ligand-induced molecular events in immune receptors.
Project description:Antigen binding to the B-cell receptor (BCR) induces several responses, resulting in B-cell activation, proliferation, and differentiation. However, it has been difficult to study these responses due to their dynamic, fast, and transient nature. Here, we attempted to solve this problem by developing a controllable trigger point for BCR and antigen recognition through the construction of a photoactivatable antigen, caged 4-hydroxy-3-nitrophenyl acetyl (caged-NP). This photoactivatable antigen system in combination with live cell and single molecule imaging techniques enabled us to illuminate the previously unidentified B-cell probing termination behaviors and the precise BCR sorting mechanisms during B-cell activation. B cells in contact with caged-NP exhibited probing behaviors as defined by the unceasing extension of membrane pseudopods in random directions. Further analyses showed that such probing behaviors are cell intrinsic with strict dependence on F-actin remodeling but not on tonic BCR signaling. B-cell probing behaviors were terminated within 4 s after photoactivation, suggesting that this response was sensitive and specific to BCR engagement. The termination of B-cell probing was concomitant with the accumulation response of the BCRs into the BCR microclusters. We also determined the Brownian diffusion coefficient of BCRs from the same B cells before and after BCR engagement. The analysis of temporally segregated single molecule images of both BCR and major histocompatibility complex class I (MHC-I) demonstrated that antigen binding induced trapping of BCRs into the BCR microclusters is a fundamental mechanism for B cells to acquire antigens.
Project description:B cells are activated in vivo after the B cell receptors (BCRs) bind to antigens captured on the surfaces of antigen-presenting cells. Antigen binding results in BCR microclustering and signaling; however, the molecular nature of the signaling-active BCR clusters is not well understood. Using single-molecule imaging techniques, we provide evidence that within microclusters, the binding of monovalent membrane antigens results in the assembly of immobile signaling-active BCR oligomers. The oligomerization depends on interactions between the membrane-proximal Cmicro4 domains of the membrane immunoglobulin that are both necessary and sufficient for assembly. Antigen-bound BCRs that lacked the Cmicro4 domain failed to cluster and signal, and conversely, Cmicro4 domains alone clustered spontaneously and activated B cells. These results support a unique mechanism for the initiation of BCR signaling in which antigen binding induces a conformational change in the Fc portion of the BCR, revealing an interface that promotes BCR clustering.
Project description:Divergent hypotheses exist to explain how signaling by the B cell receptor (BCR) is initiated after antigen binding and how it is qualitatively altered in anergic B cells to selectively uncouple from nuclear factor kappaB and c-Jun N-terminal kinase pathways while continuing to activate extracellular signal-regulated kinase and calcium-nuclear factor of activated T cell pathways. Here we find that BCRs on anergic cells are endocytosed at a very enhanced rate upon binding antigen, resulting in a large steady-state pool of intracellularly sequestered receptors that appear to be continuously cycling between surface and intracellular compartments. This endocytic mechanism is exquisitely sensitive to the lowering of plasma membrane cholesterol by methyl-beta-cyclodextrin, and, when blocked in this way, the sequestered BCRs return to the cell surface and RelA nuclear accumulation is stimulated. In contrast, when plasma membrane cholesterol is lowered and GM1 sphingolipid markers of membrane rafts are depleted in naive B cells, this does not diminish BCR signaling to calcium or RelA. These results provide a possible explanation for the signaling changes in clonal anergy and indicate that a chief function of membrane cholesterol in B cells is not to initiate BCR signaling, but instead to terminate a subset of signals by rapid receptor internalization.
Project description:After their first encounter with a foreign antigen, naïve B cells that have immunoglobulin M (IgM) B cell receptors (BCRs) trigger the primary antibody response and the generation of memory B cells with IgG BCRs. When these memory B cells reencounter the same antigen, the cell surface IgG BCRs stimulate their rapid differentiation into plasma cells that release large amounts of IgG antibodies. We showed that the conserved cytoplasmic tail of the IgG BCR, which contains a putative PDZ (postsynaptic density 95/disc large/zona occludens 1)-binding motif, associated with synapse-associated protein 97 (SAP97), a PDZ domain-containing scaffolding molecule that is involved in controlling receptor density and signal strength at neuronal synapses. SAP97 accumulated and bound to IgG BCRs in the immunological synapses that formed in response to B cell engagement with antigen. Knocking down SAP97 in IgG? B cells or mutating the putative PDZ-binding motif in the BCR tail impaired formation of the immunological synapse, initiation of IgG BCR signaling, and downstream activation of the mitogen-activated protein kinase p38. Thus, heightened B cell memory responses are encoded, in part, by a mechanism that involves SAP97 serving as a scaffolding protein in the IgG BCR immunological synapse.
Project description:B cells are selected by the binding of antigen to clonally distributed B cell receptors (BCRs), triggering signalling cascades that result in B cell activation. With the recent application of high-resolution live-cell imaging, we are gaining an understanding of the events that initiate BCR signalling within seconds of its engagement with antigen. These observations are providing a molecular explanation for fundamental aspects of B cell responses, including antigen affinity discrimination and the value of class switching, as well as insights into the underlying causes of B cell tumorigenesis. Advances in our understanding of the earliest molecular events that follow antigen binding to the BCR may provide a general framework for the initiation of signalling in the adaptive immune system.
Project description:The activated B-cell-like (ABC) subtype of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) relies on chronic active B-cell receptor (BCR) signaling. BCR pathway inhibitors induce remissions in a subset of ABC DLBCL patients. BCR microclusters on the surface of ABC cells resemble those generated following antigen engagement of normal B cells. We speculated that binding of lymphoma BCRs to self-antigens initiates and maintains chronic active BCR signaling in ABC DLBCL. To assess whether antigenic engagement of the BCR is required for the ongoing survival of ABC cells, we developed isogenic ABC cells that differed solely with respect to the IgH V region of their BCRs. In competitive assays with wild-type cells, substitution of a heterologous V region impaired the survival of three ABC lines. The viability of one VH4-34(+) ABC line and the ability of its BCR to bind to its own cell surface depended on V region residues that mediate the intrinsic autoreactivity of VH4-34 to self-glycoproteins. The BCR of another ABC line reacted with self-antigens in apoptotic debris, and the survival of a third ABC line was sustained by reactivity of its BCR to an idiotypic epitope in its own V region. Hence, a diverse set of self-antigens is responsible for maintaining the malignant survival of ABC DLBCL cells. IgH V regions used by the BCRs of ABC DLBCL biopsy samples varied in their ability to sustain survival of these ABC lines, suggesting a screening procedure to identify patients who might benefit from BCR pathway inhibition.
Project description:Memory B cells express high-affinity, immunoglobulin GB cell receptors (IgG BCRs) that enhance B cell responses, giving rise to the rapid production of high-affinity, IgG antibodies. Despite the central role of IgG BCRs in memory responses, the mechanisms by which the IgG BCRs function to enhance B cell responses are not fully understood. Using high-resolution live-cell imaging, we showed that IgG1 BCRs dramatically enhanced the earliest BCR-intrinsic events that followed within seconds of B cells' encounter with membrane bound antigen, including BCR oligomerization and BCR microcluster growth, leading to Syk kinase recruitment and calcium responses. The enhancement of these early events was dependent on a membrane proximal region of the IgG1 cytoplasmic tail not previously appreciated to play a role in IgG1 BCR signaling. Thus, intrinsic properties of the IgG1 BCR enhance early antigen-driven events that ultimately translate into heightened signaling.
Project description:B lymphocytes have the ability to sense thousands of structurally different antigens and produce cognate antibodies against these molecules. For this they carry on their surface multiple copies of the B cell antigen receptor (BCR) comprising the membrane-bound Ig (mIg) molecule and the Ig?/Ig? heterodimer functioning as antigen binding and signal transducing components, respectively. The mIg is a symmetric complex of 2 identical membrane-bound heavy chains (mHC) and 2 identical light chains. How the symmetric mIg molecule is asymmetrically associated with only one Ig?/Ig? heterodimer has been a puzzle. Here we describe that Ig? and Ig? both carry on one side of their ?-helical transmembrane domain a conserved amino acid motif. By a mutational analysis in combination with a BCR rebuilding approach, we show that this motif is required for the retention of unassembled Ig? or Ig? molecules inside the endoplasmic reticulum and the binding of the Ig?/Ig? heterodimer to the mIg molecule. We suggest that the BCR forms within the lipid bilayer of the membrane a symmetric Ig?-mHC:mHC-Ig? complex that is stabilized by an aromatic proline-tyrosine interaction. Outside the membrane this symmetry is broken by the disulfide-bridged dimerization of the extracellular Ig domains of Ig? and Ig?. However, symmetry of the receptor can be regained by a dimerization of 2 BCR complexes as suggested by the dissociation activation model.
Project description:Ig heavy chain (IgH) isotypes (e.g., IgM, IgG, and IgE) are generated as secreted/soluble antibodies (sIg) or as membrane-bound (mIg) B cell receptors (BCRs) through alternative RNA splicing. IgH isotype dictates soluble antibody function, but how mIg isotype influences B cell behavior is not well defined. We examined IgH isotype-specific BCR function by analyzing naturally switched B cells from wild-type mice, as well as by engineering polyclonal Igh?1/?1 and Igh?/? mice, which initially produce IgG1 or IgE from their respective native genomic configurations. We found that B cells from wild-type mice, as well as Igh?1/?1 and Igh?/? mice, produce transcripts that generate IgM, IgG1, and IgE in an alternative splice form bias hierarchy, regardless of cell stage. In this regard, we found that mIg? > mIg?1 > mIg?, and that these BCR expression differences influence respective developmental fitness. Restrained B cell development from Igh?1/?1 and Igh?/? mice was proportional to sIg/mIg ratios and was rescued by enforced expression of the respective mIgs. In addition, artificially enhancing BCR signal strength permitted IgE+ memory B cells-which essentially do not exist under normal conditions-to provide long-lived memory function, suggesting that quantitative BCR signal weakness contributes to restraint of IgE B cell responses. Our results indicate that IgH isotype-specific mIg/BCR dosage may play a larger role in B cell fate than previously anticipated.
Project description:B-cell activation is initiated by the binding of antigen to the B-cell receptor (BCR). Here we used dSTORM superresolution imaging to characterize the nanoscale spatial organization of immunoglobulin M (IgM) and IgG BCRs on the surfaces of resting and antigen--activated human peripheral blood B-cells. We provide insights into both the fundamental process of antigen-driven BCR clustering and differences in the spatial organization of IgM and IgG BCRs that may contribute to the characteristic differences in the responses of naive and memory B-cells to antigen. We provide evidence that although both IgM and IgG BCRs reside in highly heterogeneous protein islands that vary in size and number of BCR single-molecule localizations, both resting and activated B-cells intrinsically maintain a high -frequency of single isolated BCR localizations, which likely represent BCR monomers. IgG BCRs are more clustered than IgM BCRs on resting cells and form larger protein islands after antigen activation. Small, dense BCR clusters likely formed via protein-protein interactions are present on the surface of resting cells, and antigen activation induces these to come together to form less dense, larger islands, a process likely governed, at least in part, by protein-lipid interactions.