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A transmembrane protein B-lymphocyte antigen CD20 is coded by the MS4A1 gene at 11q12.2 that is important in B lymphocyte differentiation into plasma cells. Dysfunctional mutations can cause immunodeficiency ( eg. common variable immunodeficiency-5 (CVID5)).


Permissive to B cell:

  • Proliferation by mitogens
  • Differentiation


From early B cells to pre-B cell stage, but not plasma cells.

Significance in disease

Marker (see FMC7 monoclonal antibody) of most B-cell lymphomas (not exhaustive list):

Also nodular lymphocyte predominant Hodgkin's lymphoma and rare T-cell lymphomas.

It can be blocked therapeutically with monoclonal antibodies, e.g. rituximab, ofatumumab and more recently a glyco-modified antibody obinutuzumab.