Bruton tyrosine kinase (BTK) and its role in B-cell malignancy

Int Rev Immunol. 2012 Apr;31(2):119-32. doi: 10.3109/08830185.2012.664797.


BTK is a kinase that functions downstream of multiple receptors in various hematologic cells. This review focuses on BTK-dependent pathways that are likely to be involved in maintaining the malignant phenotype in B-cell lymphomas and leukemias. Survival of various B-cell malignancies requires BTK-dependent signals from the B-cell antigen receptor. Survival is also dependent on malignant cells homing to and interacting with lymphoid microenvironments, and these interactions are also BTK-dependent due its role in signaling downstream of chemokine and innate immune receptors. The potential for therapeutic targeting of BTK is currently being tested in clinical settings.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Agammaglobulinaemia Tyrosine Kinase
  • Animals
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • B-Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Leukemia, B-Cell / metabolism*
  • Lymphoma, B-Cell / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / genetics
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Antigen, B-Cell / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction


  • Receptors, Antigen, B-Cell
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • Agammaglobulinaemia Tyrosine Kinase
  • BTK protein, human
  • Btk protein, mouse