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Lowering the affinity between antigen and the B cell receptor can enhance antigen presentation

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Andrew Knight


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The B cell receptor (BCR) enables antigen-specific B cells to bind, internalize and target antigens for processing into small peptide fragments. These epitopes are then expressed on the plasmamembrane in association with MHC class II molecules for recognition by CD4(+) T cells. The affinity of the interaction between the BCR and antigen plays an important part in determining T cell epitope generation. In this report we provide evidence that the efficiency of antigen presentation by specific B cells does not need to be directly proportional to antigen/BCR affinity. We show that increased presentation can result from lowering the affinity of the antigen/BCR interaction. This finding suggests a novel mechanism by which B cells can recruit T cell help and obtain survival signals. Activation of these cells may have consequences for the generation of the B cell repertoire.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Brooks K, Knight AM

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: European Journal of Immunology

Year: 2004

Volume: 34

Issue: 3

Pages: 837-843

ISSN (print): 0014-2980

ISSN (electronic): 1521-4141

Publisher: Wiley - VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA


DOI: 10.1002/eji.200324357


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