The CD37 antigen is a transmembrane protein of the tetraspanin superfamily that is highly expressed on B cells during the pre-B to peripheral mature B-cell stages, but is absent on early progenitor cells or terminally differentiated plasma cells. Although the exact physiological role of CD37 is unclear, it may play a role in immune cell proliferation and influences signaling via the Akt pathway. In normal tissues, CD37 expression is restricted to lymphoid tissues. However, CD37 is highly expressed on malignant B cells in non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) and chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). This expression profile suggests that CD37 represents a promising therapeutic target for B-cell malignancies.
Deckert J, et al. A novel anti-CD37 antibody-drug conjugate with multiple anti-tumor mechanisms for the treatment of B-cell malignancies[J]. Blood, 2013, 122(20): 3500-3510.