Members in the TNF superfamily regulate immune responses and induce apoptosis. A novel member in the TNF family was recently identified by several groups and designated BAFF (for Bcell Activating Factor belonging to the TNF Family), BLyS (for B Lymphocyte Stimulator), TALL-1, and THANK. BAFF was characterized as a Bcell activator since it induced Bcell proliferation and immunoglobulin secretion. Three receptors for BAFF have been identified and designated TACI, BCMA and BAFF-R (5,6). BAFF and its receptors are essential for Bcell development, survival, and humoral immune responses. BAFF is involved in the development of autoimmune diseases including systemic lupus erythaematosus and rheumatoid arthritis.
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6. Thompson JS, Bixler SA, Qian F, et al. BAFF-R, a newly identified TNF receptor that specifically interacts with BAFF. Science. 2001;293:2108-11