The function of Pyk2 on Rap-GTPase mediated cell spreading and cell migration

B cells make antibodies that help combat pathogens. The B cell receptor, chemokine receptors and integrins on the cell surface are molecules that send signals to regulate B cell migration and adhesion. These processes are essential for B cells to enter the lymphatic system and to identify and adhere to foreign molecules (antigens) for the purpose of mounting a protective immune response. Proteins called Rap GTPases and Pyk2 are important in controlling B cell migration and adhesion, but the mechanisms involved are not well understood. Kathy Tse is investigating how Rap regulates Pyk2 and how Pyk2 promotes B cell migration and adhesion. Specifically, she is examining the localization and activity of Pyk2 during cell migration and adhesion. Knowledge from this study will allow better understanding of normal B cell movement and activation, and has potential for identifying drug targets for treating immune system diseases, including cancer.