B-lymphocyte antigen CD20 or CD20 is expressed on the surface of all B-cells beginning at the pro-B phase (CD45R+, CD117+) and progressively increasing in concentration until maturity. In humans, CD20 is encoded by the MS4A1 gene.
The protein has no known natural ligand and its function is to enable optimal B-cell immune response, specifically against T-independent antigens. It is suspected that it acts as a calcium channel in the cell membrane.
Because CD20 remains present on the cells of most B-cell neoplasms and is absent on otherwise similar appearing T-cell neoplasms, it can be very useful in diagnosing conditions such as B-cell lymphomas and leukaemias. However, the presence or absence of CD20 in such tumors is not relevant to prognosis, with the progression of the disease being much the same in either case. CD20 positive cells are also sometimes found in cases of Hodgkins disease, myeloma, and thymoma.
CD20 is the target of the monoclonal antibody therapies approved by FDA, which are all active agents in the treatment of all B cell lymphomas, leukemias, and B cell-mediated autoimmune diseases:
EUPROTEIN has developed and validated CD20 protein that could be potentially used in the anti-cancer drug discovery. This high-quality protein might also be applied in future development of diagnostic assays for tumors or therapies involved with CD20.
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