Centre for Biological Signalling Studies

Dr. Jianying Yang

Dr. Jianying Yang

Institute of Biology III, University of Freiburg

+49 761 203 2730


Mature B cells sense pathogens through the B cell antigen receptor (BCR), which is composed of the membrane-bound immunoglobulin (mIg) molecule and a heterodimer of the Iga (CD79a) and Igb (CD79b) protein. How the extracellular binding of the BCR with antigen is leading to an intracellular signaling cascade keeps elusive. We are employing new methods based on the recently developed chemical and light induced dimerization system (FKBP and CRY2/CIB1) to test for the importance of the conformational changes of the Iga/Igb tail in the initiation of BCR signalling. By controlling the interaction of the tails of Iga and Igb with chemicals or lights, we will test whether the BCR signaling can be affected.

By oxidizing critical thiol groups on redox-regulated target proteins, H2O2 acts as an important signaling molecule. Using a newly invented ROS detector based on the GFP derivative roGFP, one could monitor the Redox status by looking at the changes of the emission spectrum of the roGFP. We are also interested in using different cellular localisation signals to target this ROS detector into different part of the cell for monitoring local ROS production.


10 selected publications

  • Molecular requirements of the B‐cell antigen receptor for sensing monovalent antigens.
    Volkmann C, Brings N, Becker M, Hobeika E, Yang J*, Reth M. (2016)
    EMBO J. 35(21):2371-2381.
    (*, co-corresponding authors)
  • Receptor Dissociation and B-Cell Activation.
    Yang J*, Reth M (2015).
    Curr Top Microbiol Immunol 393:27-43.
    (*, co-corresponding authors)
  • The nanoscale organization of the B lymphocyte membrane.
    Maity PC, Yang J, Kläsener K, Reth M (2015).
    T Biochim Biophys Acta 1853, 830- 840
  • Drosophila S2 Schneider cells: a useful tool for rebuilding and redesigning approaches in synthetic biology.
    Kläsener K, Maity PC, Hobeika E, Yang J, Reth M (2014).
    Elife 3, e02069.
  • Drosophila S2 Schneider cells: a useful tool for rebuilding and redesigning approaches in synthetic biology.
    Yang J, Reth M (2012).
    Methods Mol Biol 813, 331–341.
  • The dissociation activation model of B cell antigen receptor triggering.
    Yang J, Reth M (2010).
    FEBS Lett 584, 4872–4877.
  • Oligomeric organization of the B-cell antigen receptor on resting cells.
    Yang J, Reth M (2010).
    Nature 467, 465–469.
  • Mutations of the Igbeta gene cause agammaglobulinemia in man
    Ferrari S, Lougaris V, Caraffi S, Zuntini R, Yang J, Soresina A, Meini A, Cazzola G, Rossi C, Reth M, et al. (2007).
    J Exp Med 204, 2047–2051.
  • Structural basis of affinity maturation and intramolecular cooperativity in a protein-protein interaction.
    Cho S, Swaminathan CP, Yang J, Kerzic MC, Guan R, Kieke MC, Kranz DM, Mariuzza RA, Sundberg EJ (2005).
    Structure 13, 1775–1787.
  • Dissecting cooperative and additive binding energetics in the affinity maturation pathway of a protein-protein interface.
    Yang J, Swaminathan CP, Huang Y, Guan R, Cho S, Kieke MC, Kranz DM, Mariuzza RA, Sundberg EJ (2003).
    J Biol Chem 278, 50412–50421.