A PIP2-derived amplification loop fuels the sustained initiation of B cell activation

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Abstract

Lymphocytes have evolved sophisticated signaling amplification mechanisms to efficiently activate downstream signaling after detection of rare ligands in their microenvironment. B cell receptor microscopic clusters (BCR microclusters) are assembled on the plasma membrane and recruit signaling molecules for the initiation of lymphocyte signaling after antigen binding. We identified a signaling amplification loop derived from phosphatidylinositol 4,5-biphosphate (PIP2) for the sustained B cell activation. Upon antigen recognition, PIP2 was depleted by phospholipase C–γ2 (PLC-γ2) within the BCR microclusters and was regenerated by phosphatidic acid–dependent type I phosphatidylinositol 4-phosphate 5-kinase outside the BCR microclusters. The hydrolysis of PIP2 inside the BCR microclusters induced a positive feedback mechanism for its synthesis outside the BCR microclusters. The falling gradient of PIP2 across the boundary of BCR microclusters was important for the efficient formation of BCR microclusters. Our results identified a PIP2-derived amplification loop that fuels the sustained initiation of B cell activation.

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