CD20 as a target for therapeutic type I and II monoclonal antibodies

Semin Hematol. 2010 Apr;47(2):107-14. doi: 10.1053/j.seminhematol.2010.01.001.


The last decade has seen the monoclonal antibody (mAb), rituximab, transform clinical management of many non-Hodgkin lymphomas and more recently provide new opportunities for controlling autoimmune conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis. Although not yet fully determined, the explanation for this success appears to lie with the inherent properties of its target, CD20, which allow rituximab to recruit potent cytotoxic effectors with unusual efficiency. In this review we detail the properties of CD20 that make it such an effective therapeutic target and describe how different mAbs change the membrane distribution and internalization of CD20 and have distinct modes of cytotoxic activity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / classification
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / immunology*
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Murine-Derived
  • Antibody Specificity
  • Antibody-Dependent Cell Cytotoxicity
  • Antigen-Antibody Reactions
  • Antigens, CD20 / chemistry
  • Antigens, CD20 / immunology
  • Antigens, CD20 / metabolism
  • Antigens, CD20 / physiology*
  • Antigens, Surface / immunology
  • Antigens, Surface / metabolism
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • B-Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • Calcium Signaling / physiology
  • Cell Death
  • Drug Delivery Systems
  • Humans
  • Lymphoma, B-Cell / drug therapy
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Protein Conformation
  • Protein Transport
  • Rituximab


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Murine-Derived
  • Antigens, CD20
  • Antigens, Surface
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Rituximab