“APRIL hath put a spring of youth in everything”: Relevance of APRIL for survival

Kimberley, F. C.; Hahne, M.; Medema, J. P.

J Cell Physiol

2009-01 / vol 218 / pages 1-8


A proliferation inducing ligand (APRIL or TALL-2 and TRDL-1) was first discovered as a cytokine over-expressed in many transformed cells and with the capacity to stimulate proliferation. APRIL was shown to bind two different receptors of the TNF receptor superfamily: B cell maturation antigen (BCMA) and transmembrane activator and calcium modulator and cyclophilin ligand interactor (TACI), as well as heparan sulphate proteoglycans (HSPGs). APRIL has since been shown to play a physiological role in B cell biology, in particular the survival of plasma B cells in a specialized APRIL-rich niche. However, aberrant expression of APRIL and the subsequent activation of pro-survival pathways, is potentially the driving force for the survival of several B cell malignancies. APRIL has therefore become an important therapeutic target, but many questions regarding its mechanism of action still remain. It is for instance unclear what the exact physiological implications of the APRIL-HSPG interaction could be. Neither do we know the precise signals elicited by APRIL in normal or in malignant cells, and whether blocking these effects could provide real therapeutic gain in cancer patients. In this review we discuss the specific relevance of APRIL for cell survival, in terms of both its physiological role and its role in tumor biology, and highlight some of the key questions that will undoubtedly form the basis of future research in this field.

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1097-4652 (Electronic) 0021-9541 (Linking)


Humans; Animals; Mice; Signal Transduction; Models, Biological; B-Cell Maturation Antigen/physiology; B-Lymphocytes/cytology/physiology; Cell Survival/*physiology; Cell Transformation, Neoplastic; Neoplasms/pathology/physiopathology; Transmembrane Activator and CAML Interactor Protein/physiology; Tumor Necrosis Factor Ligand Superfamily Member 13/*physiology

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