The signal transduction events that control the progenitor B cell (pro-B cell) to precursor B cell (pre-B cell) transition have not been well delineated. In evaluating patients with absent B cells, a male with a homozygous splice defect in the cytoplasmic adapter protein BLNK (B cell linker protein) was identified. Although this patient had normal numbers of pro-B cells, he had no pre-B cells or mature B cells, indicating that BLNK plays a critical role in orchestrating the pro-B cell to pre-B cell transition. The immune system and overall growth and development were otherwise normal in this patient, suggesting that BLNK function is highly specific.
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