Institute for the Physics of Living Systems


IPLS/BioP Seminar: Dr. Katelyn Spillane (King's College London)

16 March 2022, 11:00 am–12:00 pm

Katelyn Spillane

Title: Physical regulation of B cell activation in the immune synapse

Event Information

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2nd Floor Seminar Room (2.30), LMCB
MRC Building
Gower Street

Abstract: During an immune response, B cells become activated to produce antibodies that neutralise pathogens and target them for destruction. Antibodies are one of the most potent forms of immunological defence we have and are the main form of protection induced by nearly all vaccines. However, inappropriate activation of B cells can lead to the development of autoimmunity and cancer. B cells therefore need to tightly control the timing and extent of their activation to match the potential threat.

B cells are triggered by encounters with antigen molecules presented on the surface of an antigen-presenting cell. Binding between the B cell receptor (BCR) and antigen induces intracellular signalling leading to rapid remodelling of the actin cytoskeleton to form an immune synapse. Actin both spatially organises molecules in the synapse and exerts mechanical force, which together influence B cell activation pathways. In this talk I will discuss our efforts to understand the role of actin during B cell activation at different time scales, from BCR-antigen binding in the first seconds to BCR-antigen internalisation tens of minutes later. I will also present our recent findings that CD20, a B cell specific membrane protein that is an important target for B cell depletion therapies, promotes stringency during B cell activation by maintaining the integrity of the actin cortex. 

Host: Thomas Michaels

The seminar will be hybrid- both in the LMCB Seminar Room and online. Please contact Jas Gill-Thind (j.gill-thind@ucl.ac.uk) if you do not already have the details to join the Zoom meeting.

For best functionality please ensure when you join the call you turn off your webcam and mute your microphone, to save bandwidth. If you have a question, please use the meeting Chat panel to let the host know, then switch on your camera and microphone on to ask the question when prompted.

About the Speaker

Dr. Katelyn Spillane

at King's College London

More about Dr. Katelyn Spillane