Antigen uptake and presentation by naive and germinal center (GC) B cells are different, with the former expressing even lowaffinity BCRs efficiently capture and present sufficient antigen to T cells, whereas the latter do so more efficiently after acquiring high-affinity BCRs. We show here that antigen uptake and processing by naive but not GC B cells depend on Cbl and Cbl-b (Cbls), which consequently control naive B and cognate T follicular helper (Tfh) cell interaction and initiation of the GC reaction. Cbls mediate CD79A and CD79B ubiquitination, which is required for BCR-mediated antigen endocytosis and postendocytic sorting to lysosomes, respectively. Blockade of CD79A or CD79B ubiquitination or Cbls ligase activity is sufficient to impede BCR-mediated antigen processing and GC development. Thus, Cbls act at the entry checkpoint of the GC reaction by promoting naive B cell antigen presentation. This regulation may facilitate recruitment of naive B cells with a lowaffinity BCR into GCs to initiate the process of affinity maturation.
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