Hu & Zhang Lab
The State Key Laboratory of Biotherapy Si-Chuan University

T-cell helps B-cell for quicker cell cycle

High-affinity antibodies provide long-lasting protective immunity. Generating such antibodies requires help from the Tfh, which interact with antibody-producing B cells. As B cells proliferate and mutate their antibody genes, T cells select the cells producing high-affinity antibodies. Gitlin et al. show in mice that B cells that receive T cell help transit through the cell cycle more quickly by increasing the speed at which replication forks progress. Such a rapid cell cycle transition gives high-affinity B cells a selective advantage.

The germinal center (GC) is a microanatomical compartment wherein high-affinity antibody-producing B cells are selectively expanded. B cells proliferate and mutate their antibody genes in the dark zone (DZ) of the GC and are then selected by T cells in the light zone (LZ) on the basis of affinity. Here, the authors show that T cell help regulates the speed of cell cycle phase transitions and DNA replication of GC B cells. Genome sequencing and single-molecule analyses revealed that T cell help shortens S phase by regulating replication fork progression, while preserving the relative order of replication origin activation. Thus, high-affinity GC B cells are selected by a mechanism that involves prolonged dwell time in the DZ where selected cells undergo accelerated cell cycles.

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