Dr. Annemiek van Spriel, Dept. of Tumor Immunology has been awarded a KWF Grant (566,000 euro) by the Dutch Cancer Society for her work on Tetraspanin CD37 in B cell lymphoma. The overall aim of this KWF Grant is to unravel the function of CD37, as key plasma membrane organizer in B-cells, in protection against development of B-cell lymphoma. CD37 is a member of the tetraspanin superfamily that coordinate the spatial organization of surface proteins and signaling molecules in the plasma membrane. Mice deficient for CD37 (CD37-/-) spontaneously develop B-cell lymphoma which is dependent on constitutive IL-6 signaling. This research provides a strong rationale for exploiting CD37 and its downstream effectors (IL-6, STAT3) as novel therapeutic target for B-cell malignancies.
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