Targeting B-cell signaling pathways: a central role for Bruton’s tyrosine kinase


B-cell cancers constitute a large group of diseases with diverse clinical and pathological characteristics that arise from the B (bursal- or bone marrow-derived) lymphocytes of the immune system. B cells are involved in humoral immunity as part of the adaptive immune response. They display a unique B-cell receptor (BCR) on their surface which binds to a specific antigen. Antigen- binding activates the process of clonal expansion, during which the B cell reproduces to form an army of clones that secrete the same antibody. These antibodies then bind to the target antigen on foreign cells and initiate a range of immune responses that ultimately lead to the destruction of that cell.

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