B cell maturation antigen (BCMA) is a member of the tumor necrosis factor receptor superfamily that plays an important role in regulating B cell proliferation and survival.1 BCMA is expressed on the cell membrane of normal and malignant B lymphocytes and plasma cells, but not other normal tissues.2,3 When bound to its ligands BAFF and APRIL, BCMA delivers pro-survival cell signaling.4
BCMA is central to the survival of multiple myeloma cells.1 BCMA, BAFF, and APRIL are all expressed at significantly higher levels in patients with multiple myeloma than in healthy individuals.1,5 Overexpression leads to upregulation of anti-apoptotic proteins and the survival of multiple myeloma cells.1 Upregulation of BCMA also correlates with disease burden and poor prognosis in multiple myeloma.1
BCMA represents a promising antigen target for novel multiple myeloma therapies.
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APRIL: A proliferation inducing ligand; BAFF: B cell activating factor from the TNF family.
1. Cho S-F, Anderson KC, Tai Y-T. Front Immunol. 2018;9:1821. 2. Huang H-W, Chen C-H, Lin C-H, Wong C-H, Lin K-I. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013;110(27):10928-109333. 3. Hatzoglou A, Roussel F, Bourgeade M-F, et al. J Immunol. 2000;165(3):1322-1330. 4. Coquery CM, Erickson LD. Crit Rev Immunol. 2012;32(4):287-305. 5. Moreaux J, Legouffe E, Jourdan E, et al. Blood. 2004;103(8):3148-3157.