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Semin Immunol. 2006 Oct;18(5):263-75. Epub 2006 Aug 17.

BAFF, APRIL and their receptors: structure, function and signaling.

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Biochemistry Department, University of Lausanne, Boveresses 155, CH-1066 Epalinges, Switzerland.


BAFF, APRIL and their receptors play important immunological roles, especially in the B cell arm of the immune system. A number of splice isoforms have been described for both ligands and receptors in this subfamily, some of which are conserved between mouse and human, while others are species-specific. Structural and mutational analyses have revealed key determinants of receptor-ligand specificity. BAFF-R has a strong selectivity for BAFF; BCMA has a higher affinity for APRIL than for BAFF, while TACI binds both ligands equally well. The molecular signaling events downstream of BAFF-R, BCMA and TACI are still incompletely characterized. Survival appears to be mediated by upregulation of Bcl-2 family members through NF-kappaB activation, degradation of the pro-apototic Bim protein, and control of subcellular localization of PCKdelta. Very little is known about other signaling events associated with receptor engagement by BAFF and APRIL that lead for example to B cell activation or to CD40L-independent Ig switch.

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