Background: B-cell receptor (BCR) signaling, combined with CD19 and CD21 signals, imparts specific control of B-cell responses. Dedicator of cytokinesis protein 2 (DOCK2) is critical for the migration and motility of lymphocytes. Although absence of DOCK2 leads to lymphopenia, little is known about the signaling mechanisms and physiologic functions of DOCK2 in B cells.
Objective: We sought to determine the underlying molecular mechanism of how DOCK2 regulates BCR signaling and peripheral B-cell differentiation.
Methods: In this study we used genetic models for DOCK2, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein (WASP), and lymphoid enhancer-binding factor 1 deficiency to study their interplay in BCR signaling and B-cell differentiation.
Results: We found that the absence of DOCK2 led to downregulation of proximal and distal BCR signaling molecules, including CD19, but upregulation of SH2-containing inositol 5 phosphatase 1, a negative signaling molecule. Interestingly, DOCK2 deficiency reduced CD19 and CD21 expression at the mRNA and/or protein levels and was associated with reduced numbers of marginal zone B cells. Additionally, loss of DOCK2 reduced activation of WASP and accelerated degradation of WASP, resulting into reduced actin accumulation and early activation of B cells. Mechanistically, the absence of DOCK2 upregulates the expression of lymphoid enhancer-binding factor 1. These differences were associated with altered humoral responses in the absence of DOCK2.
Conclusions: Overall, our study has provided a novel underlying molecular mechanism of how DOCK2 deficiency regulates surface expression of CD21, which leads to downregulation of CD19-mediated BCR signaling and marginal zone B-cell differentiation.
Keywords: B cell; B-cell receptor; CD21; Dedicator of cytokinesis protein 2; lymphoid enhancer–binding factor 1.
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