The three CARMA sisters: so different, so similar: a portrait of the three CARMA proteins and their involvement in human disorders

J Cell Physiol. 2014 Aug;229(8):990-7. doi: 10.1002/jcp.24543.


Initially identified by their ability to modulate the functional activity of BCL10, the three CARMA proteins, CARMA1, -2, and -3, have recently themselves taken a leading role on the stage of molecular medicine. Although considered for some time as simple ancillary proteins, increasingly accumulating recent data evidently indicate a role of primary importance for these three proteins in the pathophysiology of several human tumors and inflammatory disorders. In fact, recent scientific literature clearly establishes that CARMA1 is one of the most mutated genes in a subtype of B-cell lymphoma and, at the same time, responsible for some rare human immunodeficiency conditions. On the other hand, mutations in CARMA2 are responsible for the hereditary transmission of some inflammatory disorders of the skin, including familial psoriasis and ptiriasis; whereas expression of CARMA3 appears to be deregulated in different human tumors. Here we describe and summarize the mutations found in the genes coding for the three CARMA proteins in these different human pathological conditions, and offer an interpretation of the molecular mechanisms from which arise the biological outcomes in which these proteins are involved.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • CARD Signaling Adaptor Proteins / genetics
  • CARD Signaling Adaptor Proteins / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation / physiology
  • Guanylate Cyclase / genetics
  • Guanylate Cyclase / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / genetics
  • Inflammation / metabolism*
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism*
  • Neoplasms / genetics
  • Neoplasms / metabolism*


  • CARD Signaling Adaptor Proteins
  • CARD10 protein, human
  • Membrane Proteins
  • CARD14 protein, human
  • CARD11 protein, human
  • Guanylate Cyclase