A number of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-related ligands and receptors have recently been identified that regulate B cell development and function. One of these is the B cell-activating factor, BAFF, which interacts with two receptors [transmembrane activator and calcium-modulating cyclophilin ligand interacting protein (TACI) and B cell maturation antigen (BCMA)] to promote survival and proliferation of splenic B cells (see the Perspective by Waldschmidt and Noelle). Scheimann et al. observed a profound defect in B cell development in mutant mice that lack expression of BAFF that was only partially reiterated in TACI- and BCMA-deficient animals. These results implicate the existence of another receptor for BAFF. Thompson et al. describe a candidate receptor that binds BAFF but not any other of the identified TNF-like ligands. The A/WySnJ strain of mice harbors a truncation in the BAFF-R gene that leads to a B cell deficit similar to that observed in BAFF-deficient mice. Together, these studies suggest that the interaction of BAFF with BAFF-R mediates major effects on B cell development.
T. J. Waldschmidt, R. J. Noelle, Long live the mature B cell--a BAFFling mystery resolved. Science 293, 2012-2013 (2001). [Full Text]
B. Schiemann, J. L. Gommerman, K. Vora, T. G. Cachero, S. Shulga-Morskaya, M. Dobles, E. Frew, M. L. Scott, An essential role for BAFF in the normal development of B cells through a BCMA-independent pathway. Science 293, 2111-2114 (2001). [Abstract] [Full Text]
J. S. Thompson, S. A. Bixler, F. Qian, K. Vora, M. L. Scott, T. G. Cachero, C. Hession, P. Schneider, I. D. Sizing, C. Mullen, K. Strauch, M. Zafari, C. D. Benjamin, J. Tschopp, J. L. Browning, C. Ambrose, BAFF-R, a newly identified TNF receptor that specifically interacts with BAFF. Science 293, 2108-2111 (2001). [Abstract] [Full Text]