Immunological systems biology: gene expression analysis of B-cell development in Ramos B-cells

Mol Immunol. 2007 Jul;44(14):3537-51. doi: 10.1016/j.molimm.2007.03.009. Epub 2007 May 7.


B-cell development into antibody producing cells is a complex process that relies on the tightly controlled production of hundreds of genes and proteins. A B-cell is activated through the B-cell receptor (BCR) and this activation is modified by different co-stimulatory or inhibitory co-receptors. The concerted action of signals from BCR and from co-receptors decides the fate of the B-cells. The majority of B-cells enter apoptosis, while some of them progress through the cell cycle and become, for example, antibody producing plasma cells. We studied BCR stimulated Ramos B-cells to explore the expression of BCR pathway, cell cycle and apoptosis related genes. We followed, using microarrays, the gene expression for several days after BCR engagement. Several bioinformatics methods were used to investigate the properties and common features of co-expressed genes. Certain gene ontologies have statistically significant enrichment into clusters of similarly expressed genes. The cell signaling pathways and gene expression data were combined to reveal detailed information about biological processes and B-cell systems biology. The results provide knowledge of the development of adaptive immunity and clues about how the pathways are affected by regulation of the expression of genes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Apoptosis / genetics
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Cell Cycle / genetics
  • Cell Line
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Humans
  • Immune System / immunology*
  • Multigene Family
  • Receptors, Antigen, B-Cell / genetics
  • Signal Transduction / genetics


  • Receptors, Antigen, B-Cell