Article Text

The BLyS/BAFF family of ligands and receptors: key targets in the therapy and understanding of autoimmunity
  1. M P Cancro
  1. Correspondence to:
    M P Cancro
    Department of Pathology, 284 John Morgan Building, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, 36th and Hamilton Walk, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6082, USA; Cancro{at}


The B lymphocyte stimulator (BLyS; also termed BAFF) family of ligands and receptors plays a central role in B lymphocyte development, selection, and homoeostasis. Members of this family can independently influence different B cell subsets, because the interactions between the two ligands and three receptors vary, and the receptors themselves are differentially expressed among developing, naive, and antigen experienced B cell subsets. These properties prompt careful assessment of how ablative therapies may influence the behaviour of upstream or downstream B lineage populations, as well as how the implementation and expectations of therapeutics targeting BLyS family members must be guided by knowledge of the B cell subsets contributing to pathogenesis.

  • APRIL, a proliferation inducing ligand
  • BCMA, B cell maturation antigen
  • BCR, B cell receptor
  • BLyS, B lymphocyte stimulator
  • BR3, BLyS receptor 3
  • TACI, transmembrane activator and calcium modulator and cyclophylin ligand interactor
  • TNF, tumour necrosis factor
  • BLyS
  • ligands
  • receptors
  • targets
  • autoimmunity

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  • Competing interests: none declared

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