In order for pre-B cells to fully mature, they need a functional B cell receptor. Now here's a discovery proving yet again that carbohydrates are worth paying attention to. Turns out, the pre-B cell receptor has a crucial asparagine-linked glycosylation site, and taking it away leaves these inexperienced cells trapped in limbo and unable to progress to maturity. Hmm... like grad school?
For the full story see Ubelhart et al. Nature Immunology 2010, 11(8), 759.