Regulation of B-cell entry into the cell cycle


Edward A Clark
Department of Immunology and Microbiology
University of Washington
Box 357650
Seattle, WA 98195, USA
Tel.: +206 685 2139
Fax: +206 616 6772


Summary: B cells are induced to enter the cell cycle by stimuli including ligation of the B-cell receptor (BCR) complex and Toll-like receptor (TLR) agonists. This review discusses the contribution of several molecules, which act at distinct steps in B-cell activation. The adapter molecule Bam32 (B-lymphocyte adapter of 32 kDa) helps promote BCR-induced cell cycle entry, while the secondary messenger superoxide has the opposite effect. Bam32 and superoxide may fine tune BCR-induced activation by competing for the same limited resources, namely Rac1 and the plasma membrane phospholipid PI(3,4)P2. The co-receptor CD22 can inhibit BCR-induced proliferation by binding to novel CD22 ligands. Finally, regulators of B-cell survival and death also play roles in B-cell transit through the cell cycle. Caspase 6 negatively regulates CD40- and TLR-dependent G1 entry, while acting later in the cell cycle to promote S-phase entry. Caspase 6 deficiency predisposes B cells to differentiate rather than proliferate after stimulation. Bim, a pro-apoptotic Bcl-2 family member, exerts a positive regulatory effect on cell cycle entry, which is opposed by Bcl-2. New insights into what regulates B-cell transit through the cell cycle may lead to thoughtful design of highly selective drugs that target pathogenic B cells.