Immune cells exhibit low-level, constitutive signaling at rest (tonic signaling). Such tonic signals are required for fundamental processes, including the survival of B lymphocytes, but when they are elevated by genetic or environmental causes, they can lead to autoimmunity. Events that control ongoing signal transduction are, therefore, tightly regulated by submembrane cytoskeletal polymers like F-actin. The actin-binding proteins that underpin the process, however, are poorly described. By investigating patients with ARPC1B deficiency, we report that ARPC1B-containing ARP2/3 complexes are stimulated by Wiskott Aldrich Syndrome protein (WASP) to nucleate the branched actin networks that control tonic signaling from the B cell receptor (BCR). Despite an upregulation of ARPC1A, ARPC1B-deficient cells were not capable of WASP-mediated nucleation by ARP2/3, and this caused the loss of WASP-dependent structures, including podosomes in macrophages and lamellipodia in B cells. In the B cell compartment, ARPC1B deficiency also led to weakening of the cortical F-actin cytoskeleton that normally curtails the diffusion of BCRs and ultimately resulted in increased tonic lipid signaling, oscillatory calcium release from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), and phosphorylated Akt. These events contributed to skewing the threshold for B cell activation in response to microbial-associated molecular patterns (MAMPs). Thus, ARPC1B is critical for ARP2/3 complexes to control steady-state signaling of immune cells.


Gabriella Leung, Yuhuan Zhou, Philip Ostrowski, Sivakami Mylvaganam, Parastoo Boroumand, Daniel J. Mulder, Conghui Guo, Aleixo M. Muise, Spencer A. Freeman


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