Elucidation of Differentiation Mechanism of B Type Cells

June 30, 2003 PRESS RELEASE

The Laboratory for Lymphocyte Differentiationhas announced that it, in cooperation with Kansai Medical University (KMU), elucidated the differentiation mechanism of lymphocytes by noticing the work of molecular group in the cells.
Lymphocytes are of two types: B-lymphocyte, which prevents the invasion of bacteria, and T-lymphocyte, which prevents the invasion of viruses. Between them, the antigen receptor on the cell surface of B-lymphocyte plays the role of making total immune system work by recognizing the invasion of bacteria into the body. However, the mechanism of differentiation, such as how the control mechanism of signal molecule in the cell works, has remained unclear in many points.
The laboratory noticed the adapter molecule BCAP which makes the “spot” of signal by coupling with signal molecule, and examined in detail the abnormality of signal inside the cells using knockout mice deficient in BCAP molecules.
As a result, different from the conventional idea that intra-nuclear transcriptional factor c-Rel controls cytoplasm signal molecules, it has been clarified that, contrarily, BCAP as cytoplasm signal molecule controls c-Rel and decides the final differentiation of cells of B lymphocyte.
The research result was published in the U.S. science journal “Nature Immunology” .