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J Biol Chem. 2004 May 7;279(19):19893-901. Epub 2004 Feb 19.

The CD20 calcium channel is localized to microvilli and constitutively associated with membrane rafts: antibody binding increases the affinity of the association through an epitope-dependent cross-linking-independent mechanism.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Calgary, Health Sciences Center, 3330 Hospital Drive NW, Calgary, Alberta T2N 4N1, Canada.


CD20 is a B cell-specific membrane protein that functions in store-operated calcium entry and serves as a useful target for antibody-mediated therapeutic depletion of B cells. Antibody binding to CD20 induces a diversity of biological effects, some of which are dependent on lipid rafts. Rafts are isolated as low density detergent-resistant membranes, initially characterized using Triton X-100. We have previously reported that CD20 is soluble in 1% Triton but that antibodies induce the association of CD20 with Triton-resistant rafts. However, by using several other detergents to isolate rafts and by microscopic co-localization with a glycosylphosphatidylinositol-linked protein, we show in this report that CD20 is constitutively raft-associated. CD20 was distributed in a punctate pattern on the cell surface as visualized by fluorescence imaging and was also localized to microvilli by electron microscopy. The mechanism underlying antibody-induced association of CD20 with Triton-resistant rafts was investigated and found not to require cellular ATP, kinase activity, actin polymerization, or antibody cross-linking but was dependent on the epitope recognized. Thus, antibody-induced insolubility in 1% Triton most likely reflects a transition from relatively weak to strong raft association that occurs as a result of a conformational change in the CD20 protein.

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