Memory B cells are a dynamic subset of the mature B cell population that in some cases can reenter germinal centers (GCs) in response to iterative infections. Such a reactivation can lead to accumulation of genetic lesions in these cells, potentially from repetitive activation of the B cell mutator enzyme AID. Normal memory B cells do not survive repeated reentries into GCs. In this issue, Sungalee et al. demonstrate that memory B cells harboring the oncogenic BCL2:IGH translocation, which results in constitutive BCL2 expression, survive multiple GC entries upon repetitive immunization. Through these multiple GC reentries, the hallmark BCL2:IGH translocation enables AID-induced hypermutation and propagates clonal evolution toward malignant follicular lymphoma.
Srividya Swaminathan, Markus Müschen
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