Plasma membrane topography governs the 3D dynamic localization of IgM B cell antigen receptor clusters

EMBO J. 2023 Feb 15;42(4):e112030. doi: 10.15252/embj.2022112030. Epub 2023 Jan 3.


B lymphocytes recognize bacterial or viral antigens via different classes of the B cell antigen receptor (BCR). Protrusive structures termed microvilli cover lymphocyte surfaces, and are thought to perform sensory functions in screening antigen-bearing surfaces. Here, we have used lattice light-sheet microscopy in combination with tailored custom-built 4D image analysis to study the cell-surface topography of B cells of the Ramos Burkitt's Lymphoma line and the spatiotemporal organization of the IgM-BCR. Ramos B-cell surfaces were found to form dynamic networks of elevated ridges bridging individual microvilli. A fraction of membrane-localized IgM-BCR was found in clusters, which were mainly associated with the ridges and the microvilli. The dynamic ridge-network organization and the IgM-BCR cluster mobility were linked, and both were controlled by Arp2/3 complex activity. Our results suggest that dynamic topographical features of the cell surface govern the localization and transport of IgM-BCR clusters to facilitate antigen screening by B cells.

Keywords: 4D bioimage analysis; B cell antigen receptor (BCR); B lymphocyte; cytoskeleton; lattice light sheet microscopy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • B-Lymphocytes
  • Burkitt Lymphoma* / metabolism
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin M / metabolism
  • Receptors, Antigen, B-Cell* / metabolism


  • Receptors, Antigen, B-Cell
  • Immunoglobulin M