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Question Video: Recalling How B Cells Internalize and Process Antigens Biology

Fill in the blank: A B cell will internalize the antigens present on the surface of a pathogen and _.

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Video Transcript

Fill in the blank. A B cell will internalize the antigens present on the surface of a pathogen and blank. (A) Incorporate them into its own genetic material. (B) Display them on its surface. (C) Destroy them by lysis. Or (D) neutralize them to release them back to the blood to act as antibodies.

When a B cell, like the one shown here, recognizes an extracellular pathogen such as a bacterium using its B cell receptor, the B cell engulfs the pathogen by phagocytosis. Once the pathogen has been engulfed, it is then digested inside the B cell using enzymes. A specialized molecule called a major histocompatibility complex, MHC for short, is then assembled around a fragment of the digested pathogen. And together, they are transported to the cell surface membrane of the B cell. This pathogen fragment is known as an antigen.

Once the B cell has antigens bound to MHCs on its cell surface, it is said to be displaying or presenting antigen. A displayed antigen can be recognized by a T helper cell, which will then release cytokines to fully activate the B cell.

We have therefore determined that the correct answer is (B). A B cell will internalize the antigens present on the surface of a pathogen and display them on its surface.

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