B cells sense and manipulate the lateral organization of numerous cell surface receptors in order to facilitate their functional roles within the immune system. Receptor clustering as a physical mode of signal initiation is ubiquitous in B cells, yet the corresponding general mechanisms by which clustering is sensed and controlled by intracellular components are unknown. A mechanistic understanding of clustering-mediated B cell signaling events is essential because they play important roles in immune function, defects lead to diseases such as cancer and immunodeficiency, and widely used immunotherapeutic drugs exploit these mechanisms. The goal of this work is to develop a framework that describes how receptor organization is tied to receptor functions for the class of B cell surface receptors that partition with ordered membrane domains. The working hypothesis is that ordered domain stabilization provides a fundamental paradigm for the initiation and regulation of diverse B cell signaling responses. The proposed research is guided by a predictive model of B cell receptor (BCR) signaling developed in the previous funding cycle and experimentally tests predictions of this model extended beyond BCR signaling alone. Guided by extensive preliminary data, three specific aims will be pursued: 1) Establish a generalized mechanism of signaling activated by clustering B cell surface proteins, 2) Modulate B cell membrane organization and signaling through optogenetic control of scaffolding elements, and 3) Identify immunomodulatory roles facilitated by membrane domains in BCR signaling.
The first aim will establish a general sensing mechanism that describes signals initiated via clustering of more than 15 distinct B cell surface proteins that are reported in the literature to partition with ordered domains.
The second aim will define how scaffolding elements template functional membrane organization that spans plasma membrane leaflets and the contribution of this effect to ligand-independent signaling.
The third aim will identify and isolate the roles that phase-like membrane domains play in downstream cellular decision-making by modulating signals initiated through the BCR.
All aims use quantitative super-resolution fluorescence localization microscopy techniques with the sensitivity to detect subtle domain-mediated interactions in chemically fixed and live cells. The proposed work is innovative because it applies predictive models of membrane organization and exploits recent advances in super-resolution imaging, biosensor technology, and optogenetics. A broadly applicable mechanistic model for B cell signaling will drive future advances in basic B cell biology, elucidate the mechanisms underlying the efficacy of several widely used B cell-targeted drugs, and provide new approaches for the treatment of immune diseases.

Public Health Relevance

PROJECT NARITIVE The proposed research is relevant to human health because defects in B cell signaling can lead to immunodeficiency, autoimmunity, and lymphoma, and targeting plasma membrane organization could lead to effective interventions to these human diseases. The proposed research is relevant to the part of NIH?s mission that pertains to seeking fundamental knowledge that will help to prevent and treat these human illnesses.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
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Nie, Zhongzhen
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University of Michigan Ann Arbor
Schools of Arts and Sciences
Ann Arbor
United States
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Gerstle, Zoe; Desai, Rohan; Veatch, Sarah L (2018) Giant Plasma Membrane Vesicles: An Experimental Tool for Probing the Effects of Drugs and Other Conditions on Membrane Domain Stability. Methods Enzymol 603:129-150
Kimchi, Ofer; Veatch, Sarah L; Machta, Benjamin B (2018) Ion channels can be allosterically regulated by membrane domains near a de-mixing critical point. J Gen Physiol 150:1769-1777
Stone, Matthew B; Shelby, Sarah A; Veatch, Sarah L (2017) Super-Resolution Microscopy: Shedding Light on the Cellular Plasma Membrane. Chem Rev 117:7457-7477
Stone, Matthew B; Shelby, Sarah A; Núñez, Marcos F et al. (2017) Protein sorting by lipid phase-like domains supports emergent signaling function in B lymphocyte plasma membranes. Elife 6:
Irajizad, Ehsan; Walani, Nikhil; Veatch, Sarah L et al. (2017) Clathrin polymerization exhibits high mechano-geometric sensitivity. Soft Matter 13:1455-1462
Levental, Ilya; Veatch, Sarah (2016) The Continuing Mystery of Lipid Rafts. J Mol Biol 428:4749-4764
Olety, Balaji; Veatch, Sarah L; Ono, Akira (2016) Visualization of HIV-1 Gag Binding to Giant Unilamellar Vesicle (GUV) Membranes. J Vis Exp :
Shelby, Sarah A; Veatch, Sarah L; Holowka, David A et al. (2016) Functional nanoscale coupling of Lyn kinase with IgE-Fc?RI is restricted by the actin cytoskeleton in early antigen-stimulated signaling. Mol Biol Cell 27:3645-3658
Machta, Benjamin B; Gray, Ellyn; Nouri, Mariam et al. (2016) Conditions that Stabilize Membrane Domains Also Antagonize n-Alcohol Anesthesia. Biophys J 111:537-545
Burns, Margaret C; Nouri, Mariam; Veatch, Sarah L (2016) Spot size variation FCS in simulations of the 2D Ising model. J Phys D Appl Phys 49:

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