Impact of Bacterial Lectin Valency and Binding Site Positioning on B Cell Activation
Bacterial lectins, i.e. carbohydrate-binding proteins, have only recently been demonstrated to target glycans on B cell receptors (BCRs) and stimulate pan-activation of B cells irrespective of their clonal antigen specificity (I. Wilhelm et al., manuscript submitted). We propose the positioning of sugar binding sites, rather than their total number, to dominate a lectin’s stimulatory efficiency. In the course of my PhD thesis, we will develop an engineered lectin system and study how binding site arrangement affects B cell activation and receptor organization in the plasma membrane. My work will help to better understand the mechanisms of B cell activation in the context of our BCR glycan activation hypothesis.
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