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What is the function of the protein CD20?

Date:
December 21, 2009
Source:
Journal of Clinical Investigation
Summary:
Antibodies directed against the protein CD20, which is expressed by immune cells known as B cells, are used to treat B cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma and rheumatoid arthritis. Despite this, the function of CD20 has not been determined. However, researchers have now determined that CD20 has a nonredundant role in generating optimal B cell immune responses by analyzing a patient lacking the protein.
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Antibodies directed against the protein CD20, which is expressed by immune cells known as B cells, are used to treat B cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma and rheumatoid arthritis. Despite this, the function of CD20 has not been determined.

Now, a team of researchers led by René van Lier, at the Academic Medical Center, The Netherlands, has determined that CD20 has a nonredundant role in generating optimal B cell immune responses by analyzing a patient lacking the protein.

The research appears in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

The patient was referred to the Academic Medical Center at four years of age, with a history of intermittent respiratory infections and recurrent bronchopneumonia. Detailed analysis of immune cells from the patient revealed that the B cells lacked CD20 expression due to a mutation in the CD20 gene. These CD20-deficient B cells failed to respond normally to certain stimuli in vitro, specifically those known as T-independent antigens. Further, vaccination of the patient with a T-independent antigen led to a markedly impaired B cell response.

The authors therefore conclude that CD20 has an important role in enabling B cells to respond optimally to T-independent antigens and that absence of this protein causes an immunodeficiency characterized by a reduced capacity to make B cell responses to T-independent antigens.


Story Source:

The above post is reprinted from materials provided by Journal of Clinical Investigation. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Taco W. Kuijpers, Richard J. Bende, Paul A. Baars, Annette Grummels, Ingrid A.m. Derks, Koert M. Dolman, Tim Beaumont, Thomas F. Tedder, Carel J.m. Van Noesel, Eric Eldering and René A.w. Van Lier. CD20 deficiency in humans results in impaired T cell-independent antibody responses. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 2009; DOI: 10.1172/JCI40231

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Journal of Clinical Investigation. "What is the function of the protein CD20?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 December 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091221212614.htm>.
Journal of Clinical Investigation. (2009, December 21). What is the function of the protein CD20?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 3, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091221212614.htm
Journal of Clinical Investigation. "What is the function of the protein CD20?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091221212614.htm (accessed July 3, 2015).

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