The tetraspanin CD81 was initially discovered by screening mAbs elicited against a human B cell lymphoma for their direct antiproliferative effects. We now show that 5A6, one of the mAbs that target CD81, has therapeutic potential. This antibody inhibits the growth of B cell lymphoma in a xenograft model as effectively as rituximab, which is a standard treatment for B cell lymphoma. Importantly, unlike rituximab, which depletes normal as well as malignant B cells, 5A6 selectively kills human lymphoma cells from fresh biopsy specimens while sparing the normal lymphoid cells in the tumor microenvironment. The 5A6 antibody showed a good safety profile when administered to a mouse transgenic for human CD81. Taken together, these data provide the rationale for the development of the 5A6 mAb and its humanized derivatives as a novel treatment against B cell lymphoma.
View details for DOI 10.1084/jem.20190186
View details for PubMedID 31123084