The BAFF receptor transduces survival signals by co-opting the B cell receptor signaling pathway

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Abstract

Follicular B cell survival requires signaling from BAFFR, a receptor for BAFF and the B cell antigen receptor (BCR). This "tonic" BCR survival signal is distinct from that induced by antigen binding and may be ligand-independent. We show that inducible inactivation of the Syk tyrosine kinase, a key signal transducer from the BCR following antigen binding, resulted in the death of most follicular B cells because Syk-deficient cells were unable to survive in response to BAFF. Genetic rescue studies demonstrated that Syk transduces BAFFR survival signals via ERK and PI3 kinase. Surprisingly, BAFFR signaling directly induced phosphorylation of both Syk and the BCR-associated Igα signaling subunit, and this Syk phosphorylation required the BCR. We conclude that the BCR and Igα may be required for B cell survival because they function as adaptor proteins in a BAFFR signaling pathway leading to activation of Syk, demonstrating previously unrecognized crosstalk between the two receptors.

Journal details

Journal Immunity
Volume 38
Issue number 3
Pages 475-488
Publication date

Keywords