CD79 alpha/CD79 beta heterodimers are expressed on pro-B cell surfaces without associated mu heavy chain

Int Immunol. 1997 Nov;9(11):1767-72. doi: 10.1093/intimm/9.11.1767.


During B cell development, the surface expression of CD79 alpha/CD79 beta heterodimers had been thought to begin in the pre-B cell stage where the heterodimers constitute pre-B cell receptors together with mu heavy and surrogate light chains. Thereafter, in mature B cells, CD79 alpha/CD79 beta associates with surface Ig to form B cell antigen receptors. In this study, we revealed by using newly established mAb that CD79 beta was expressed on the surface of pro-B cells which had not undergone the productive Ig gene rearrangement. Biochemical analysis showed that CD79 beta on pro-B cells existed either as monomers or as disulfide-linked heterodimers with CD79 alpha, non-covalently associated with four unidentified membrane molecules. Our finding that CD79 beta is expressed on earlier B-lineage cells than previously expected coincides with the recent study in which CD79 beta-deficient mice exhibit a blockade of B cell differentiation at the pro-B cell stage. Thus, it is speculated that the CD79 beta-containing complexes on pro-B cell surfaces may function to induce early B cell differentiation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antigens, CD / biosynthesis*
  • Antigens, CD / immunology
  • Antigens, CD / metabolism
  • B-Lymphocytes / cytology
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • B-Lymphocytes / metabolism*
  • Bone Marrow Cells / cytology
  • Bone Marrow Cells / metabolism
  • CD79 Antigens
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Dimerization
  • Epitopes / analysis
  • Immunoglobulin Heavy Chains / biosynthesis*
  • Immunoglobulin Heavy Chains / metabolism
  • Immunoglobulin mu-Chains / biosynthesis*
  • Immunoglobulin mu-Chains / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Receptors, Antigen, B-Cell / biosynthesis*
  • Receptors, Antigen, B-Cell / immunology
  • Receptors, Antigen, B-Cell / metabolism


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antigens, CD
  • CD79 Antigens
  • Cd79a protein, mouse
  • Epitopes
  • Immunoglobulin Heavy Chains
  • Immunoglobulin mu-Chains
  • Receptors, Antigen, B-Cell