Ligation of antigen receptors (TCR, BCR) on T and B lymphocytes leads to the activation of new transcriptional programs and cell cycle progression. Antigen receptor-mediated activation of NF-kappa B, required for proliferation of B and T cells, is disrupted in T cells lacking PKC theta and in B and T cells lacking Bcl10, a caspase recruitment domain (CARD)-containing adaptor protein. CARMA1 (also called CARD11 and Bimp3), the only lymphocyte-specific member in a family of membrane-associated guanylate kinase (MAGUK) scaffolding proteins that interact with Bcl10 by way of CARD-CARD interactions, is required for TCR-induced NF-kappa B activation in Jurkat T lymphoma cells. Here we show that T cells from mice lacking CARMA1 expression were defective in recruitment of Bcl10 to clustered TCR complexes and lipid rafts, in activation of NF-kappa B, and in induction of IL-2 production. Development of CD5(+) peritoneal B cells was disrupted in these mice, as was B cell proliferation in response to both BCR and CD40 ligation. Serum immunoglobulin levels were also markedly reduced in the mutant mice. Together, these results show that CARMA1 has a central role in antigen receptor signaling that results in activation and proliferation of both B and T lymphocytes.