The growth of B cell receptor microcluster is a universal response of B cells encountering antigens with different motion features

Protein Cell. 2012 Jul;3(7):545-58. doi: 10.1007/s13238-012-2054-1. Epub 2012 Jul 10.


B lymphocyte cell senses and acquires foreign antigens through clonal distributed B cell receptors (BCRs) expressed on the surface of plasma membrane. The presentation formats of antigens are quite diverse. Based on their Brownian diffusion mobility, there are three forms: free mobile soluble antigens, lateral mobile membrane bound antigens, and fixed immobile antigens. Here, using high resolution high speed live cell imaging approaches, we provide evidence that BCR microclusters are formed on the surface of B cells shortly after B cell's encountering of antigens with each format of motion features. Through high speed live cell imaging, we determine that these BCR microclusters show dynamic growth feature and by doing so function as the basic platforms for B cells to acquire the antigens. We propose that the formation and dynamic growth of BCR microcluster is a universal mechanism for B cell to response to antigens with diverse motion features.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptive Immunity*
  • Animals
  • Antigens / immunology*
  • Antigens / metabolism
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • B-Lymphocytes / metabolism*
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence
  • Protein Transport / immunology
  • Receptors, Antigen, B-Cell / metabolism*
  • Single-Cell Analysis
  • Time-Lapse Imaging


  • Antigens
  • Receptors, Antigen, B-Cell