The pre-B-cell receptor

Curr Opin Immunol. 2007 Apr;19(2):137-42. doi: 10.1016/j.coi.2007.02.006. Epub 2007 Feb 15.


The pre-B-cell receptor (pre-BCR) is composed of two immunoglobulin mu heavy chains and two surrogate light chains, which associate with the signaling molecules Igalpha and Igbeta (Igalpha/beta). The production of a functional pre-BCR is the first checkpoint in the current model of B-cell development. The pre-BCR mediates signals resulting in heavy chain allelic exclusion, down-regulation of the recombination machinery, developmental progression, V(H) repertoire selection, proliferation and down-regulation of the surrogate light chain genes. Recent studies suggest that some of these processes could take place at an earlier stage in B-cell development than previously thought, and might not result from signals mediated by the pre-BCR.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • B-Lymphocytes / chemistry
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Cell Membrane / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin Light Chains / genetics
  • Immunoglobulin Light Chains / metabolism
  • Immunoglobulin Light Chains, Surrogate
  • Immunoglobulin mu-Chains / genetics
  • Immunoglobulin mu-Chains / metabolism
  • Lymphopoiesis* / genetics
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / analysis
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / genetics
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / metabolism*
  • Pre-B Cell Receptors
  • Receptors, Antigen, B-Cell / analysis
  • Receptors, Antigen, B-Cell / genetics
  • Receptors, Antigen, B-Cell / metabolism*
  • Recombination, Genetic
  • Signal Transduction


  • Immunoglobulin Light Chains
  • Immunoglobulin Light Chains, Surrogate
  • Immunoglobulin mu-Chains
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Pre-B Cell Receptors
  • Receptors, Antigen, B-Cell