Burst-enhancing role of the IgG membrane tail as a molecular determinant of memory

Stephen W. Martin, Christopher C. Goodnow*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    174 Citations (Scopus)


    The basis of immune memory leading to heightened secondary antibody responses is a longstanding unanswered issue. Here we show that a single irreversible molecular change in the B cell antigen receptor, which is brought about by immunoglobulin M (IgM) to IgG isotype switching, is sufficient to greatly increase the extrafollicular proliferative burst of antigen-specific B cells. The unique membrane-spanning regions of IgG do not alter the T cell-dependent activation and proliferation of antigen-specific B cells in vivo, but markedly increase the number of progeny cells and plasmablasts that accumulate. These results establish a key molecular determinant of immunological memory and define an unexpected cellular basis by which it enhances the magnitude of secondary antibody responses.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)182-188
    Number of pages7
    JournalNature Immunology
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2002


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