The human CD19 antigen is a 95 kd transmembrane glycoprotein belonging to the immunoglobulin superfamily. CD19 is classified as a type I transmembrane protein, with a single transmembrane domain, a cytoplasmic C-terminus, and extracellular N-terminus. CD19 is a biomarker for normal and neoplastic B cells, as well as follicular dendritic cells. CD19 is critically involved in establishing intrinsic B cell signaling thresholds through modulating both B cell receptor-dependent and independent signaling. CD19 functions as the dominant signaling component of a multimolecular complex on the surface of mature B cells, alongside complement receptor CD21, and the tetraspanin membrane protein CD81 (TAPA-1), as well as CD225. Through study of CD19 transgenic and knockout mouse models, it becomes clear that CD19 plays a critical role in maintaining the balance between humoral, antigen-induced response and tolerance induction. This review also summarized latest clinical development of CD19 antibodies, anti-B4-bR (an immunotoxin conjugate), blinatumomab (BiTE), and SAR3419 (huB4-DM4), a novel antibody-drug conjugate.
Rituximab, the first monoclonal antibody against CD20 molecule, has revo