B cells are central to adaptive immunity and their functions in antibody responses are exquisitely regulated. As suggested by recent findings, B cell differentiation is mediated by intracellular membrane structures (including endosomes, lysosomes, and autophagosomes) and protein factors specifically associated with these membranes, including Rab7, Atg5, and Atg7. These factors participate in vesicle formation/trafficking, signal transduction and induction of gene expression to promote antigen presentation, class switch DNA recombination (CSR)/somatic hypermutation (SHM), and generation/maintenance of plasma cells and memory B cells. Their expression is induced in B cells activated to differentiate and further fine-tuned by immune-modulating microRNAs, which coordinates CSR/SHM, plasma cell differentiation, and memory B cell differentiation. These short non-coding RNAs would individually target multiple factors associated with the same intracellular membrane compartments and collaboratively target a single factor in addition to regulating AID and Blimp-1. These, together with regulation of microRNA biogenesis and activities by endosomes and autophagosomes, show that intracellular membranes and microRNAs, two broadly relevant cell constituents, play important roles in balancing gene expression to specify B cell differentiation processes for optimal antibody responses.
- B cell activation and differentiation
- Intracellular membrane associated proteins
- Memory B cell
- Plasma cell
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy