MAVS, cGAS, and endogenous retroviruses in T-independent B cell responses

Ming Zeng, Zeping Hu, Xiaolei Shi, Xiaohong Li, Xiaoming Zhan, Xiao Dong Li, Jianhui Wang, Jin H uk Choi, Kuan wen Wang, Tiana Purrington, Miao Tang, Maggy Fina, Ralph J. DeBerardinis, Eva M arie Y Moresco, Gabriel Pedersen, Gerald M. McInerney, Gunilla B Karlsson Hedestam, Zhijian J. Chen, Bruce Beutler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Multivalent molecules with repetitive structures including bacterial capsular polysaccharides and viral capsids elicit antibody responses through B cell receptor (BCR) crosslinking in the absence of T cell help. We report that immunization with these T cell-independent type 2 (TI-2) antigens causes up-regulation of endogenous retrovirus (ERV) RNAs in antigen-specific mouse B cells. These RNAs are detected via a mitochondrial antiviral signaling protein (MAVS)-dependent RNA sensing pathway or reverse-transcribed and detected via the cGAS-cGAMP-STING pathway, triggering a second, sustained wave of signaling that promotes specific immunoglobulin M production. Deficiency of both MAVS and cGAS, or treatment of MAVS-deficient mice with reverse transcriptase inhibitors, dramatically inhibits TI-2 antibody responses. These findings suggest that ERV and two innate sensing pathways that detect them are integral components of the TI-2 B cell signaling apparatus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1486-1492
Number of pages7
Issue number6216
StatePublished - Dec 19 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'MAVS, cGAS, and endogenous retroviruses in T-independent B cell responses'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this