- Reviewing EditorMichael DustinUniversity of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom
- Senior EditorJonathan CooperFred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, United States of America
Reviewer #1 (Public Review):
In this study, the authors demonstrated a new model that B cell contraction after antigen encountering was dependent on N-WASP-branched actin polymerization. This statement is achieved by a systemic comparison of genetic modified mice vs wild type mice or inhibitor treated cells vs control cells. By imaging how B cells interact with antigen-coated planar lipid bilayer, the authors further suggested that the contraction event may provide B cells a channel to dismiss downstream kinase for a purpose to attenuate B cell activation signaling.
In this revised version, the authors have fully addressed my concerns raised against the initial submission of their studies.
Reviewer #2 (Public Review):
Bhanja et al have examined how actin polymerization switch B-cell receptor (BCR) signaling from amplification to attenuation. The authors have examined B cell spreading and contraction using lipid bilayers to assess the molecular regulation of BCR signalling during the contraction phase. Their data provide evidence for that N-WASP activated Arp2/3 generates centripetally moving actin foci and contractile actomyosin from lamellipodia actin networks. This generates BCR dense foci that pushes out both stimulatory kinases and inhibitory phosphatases. The study provides novel insight into how B cells upon activation attenuate BCR signalling by contraction of the actin cytoskeleton and clustering of BCR foci and this dynamic response is mediated by N-WASP and Arp2/3.
Strengths: The manuscript is well written and results, methods, figures and legends described in detail making it easy to follow the experimental setup, analysis, and conclusions. The authors achieved their aims, and the results support their conclusions.
Weaknesses: Minor. The working hypothesis of molecular crowding as a way to push out signalling molecules from the BCR dense foci is interesting. The authors provide evidence for that this is an active process mediated by N-WASP - Arp2/3 induced actin foci. Another possibility discussed in the revised version is that BCR dense foci formation is an indirect consequence of lamellipodia retraction. Future works should define the specific role of N-WASP, Arp2/3 and actin in the process to form BCR dense foci, especially as the BCR continue to signal in the cytoplasm.
Reviewer #3 (Public Review):
This work shows how, in the formation of the immune synapse, the B cell controls the contraction phase, the formation and retraction of actin structures concentrating the antigen (actin foci), and, ultimately, global signal attenuation. The authors use a combination of TIRF microscopy and original image quantification to show that Arp2/3 activated by N-WASP controls a pool of actin concentrated in foci (situated in the synapse), formed and transported centripetally towards the center of the synapse through myosin II mediated contractions. These contractions concentrate the B cell receptors (BCR) in the center, promote disassembly of the stimulatory kinase Syk as well as the the disassociation from the BCR of the inhibitory phosphatase SHIP, process which entails the attenuation of the BCR signal.
The author prove their claims by mean of thorough image analysis, mainly observing and quantifying the fluorescence and the dynamics of single clusters of antigen and actin foci and analyzing two-colors dynamical images. They perform their observation in control cells, on pharmacologically perturbed cells where the action of Arp2/3 or N-WASP is inhibited, and on modified primary cells (primary derived from genetically engineered mice) to silence N-WASP or WASP. The work is sound and complete, the experiments technically excellent and well explained.
In the reviewed manuscript the authors answer to all referees' suggestions and add new data and comments to the manuscript. In particular by suppressing NMII activation (with Blebbistatin), they show that NMII contraction plays a role (in coordination with N-WASP mediated actin polymerization) in the generation of actin foci ring-like structures.
This work adds an important information to the current view of B cell activation, in particular it links the contraction phase to the actin foci that have been recently characterized. Moreover, the late phase of the immune synapse formation is poorly investigated, but it is crucial for the fate of the cell: this work provides an explanation for the attenuation of the signal that might lead to the termination of the synapse.