IMR Press / FBL / Volume 16 / Issue 2 / DOI: 10.2741/3719

Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark (FBL) is published by IMR Press from Volume 26 Issue 5 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.

Understanding rituximab function and resistance: implications for tailored therapy
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1 Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Catania, Catania, Italy
2 Faculty of Medicine, Laboratory of Biochemistry, Sousse, Tunisia
Front. Biosci. (Landmark Ed) 2011, 16(2), 770–782;
Published: 1 January 2011

The addition of anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody (rituximab) to chemotherapy has significantly improved survival in B-cell lymphoma. However, a substantial number of patients relapse after treatment with rituximab. Understanding of anti-CD20 antibody molecular function may facilitate the development of pharmacologic strategies to overcome resistance. Cell death have been demonstrated to be caused by rituximab binding to CD20 throughout direct and indirect mechanisms. The direct mechanism comprises growth inhibition, induction of apoptosis and sensitization of cells to chemotherapy. While, the indirect mechanisms to Rituximab include complement-dependent cytotoxicity (CDC) and antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC). However, these mechanisms are still poorly understood. To shed light on this issue, we have analyzed the most significant results showing the role of Rituximab as a signal-inducing antibody and as a chemosensitizing agent through negative regulation of major survival pathways. Mechanisms of resistance to Rituximab are also discussed. Additionally, studies here reported show that, cellular targets are modified after treatment with Rituximab and may become useful for novel therapeutic strategies in the treatment of patients resistant to standard therapy.

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