Explore CD20 CD3

Simultaneous binding of cluster of differentiation (CD)20 on B cells and CD3 on T cells can result in T-cell activation and B-cell killing

CD20: a B-cell surface antigen


CD20, a transmembrane protein expressed on malignant B cells

CD20 is a transmembrane protein and B-cell surface marker that is involved in the development and differentiation of B cells.1 CD20 is expressed in a majority of B-cell malignancies, including chronic lymphocytic leukemia, diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, follicular lymphoma, and mantle cell lymphoma.2

CD3: a T-cell activator

CD3, a protein on the surface of T cells

CD3 is a multimeric protein composed of 4 subunits (γ, δ, ε, ζ), which are part of the T-cell receptor (TCR) complex on the surface of T cells. Engagement of CD3 induces downstream signaling events that result in T-cell activation.3

Simultaneously binding CD20 and CD3

CD20 on B cell and CD3 on T cell

Binding CD20 on B cells and CD3 on T cells can engage T cells and redirect their activity against B cells. T-cell activation—a result of the CD20-CD3 interaction—promotes the proliferation/expansion of pre-existing T cells, which may further contribute to the depletion of B cells.4-6


  1. Naeim F, Rao PN, Song SX, Grody WW. Principles of immunophenotyping. In: Atlas of Hematopathology: Morphology, Immunophenotype, Cytogenetics, and Molecular Approaches. London, UK: Academic Press; 2013:25-46.
  2. Prevodnik VK, Lavrenčak J, Horvat M, Novakovič BJ. Diagn Pathol. 2011;6:33. PMID: 21486448
  3. Davis MM. Cell. 2002;110:285-287. PMID: 12176315
  4. Bacac M, Klein C, Umana P. Oncoimmunology. 2016;5:e1203498. PMID: 27622073
  5. Sun LL, Ellerman D, Mathieu M, et al. Sci Transl Med. 2015;7:287ra70. PMID: 25972002
  6. Sun LL, Wang P, Clark R, et al. Blood. 2016;128:4168.