B-cell-activating factor (BAFF) enhances B-cell survival in vitro and is a regulator of the peripheral B-cell population. The protein encoded by this gene is a receptor for BAFF and is a type III transmembrane protein containing a single extracellular phenylalanine-rich domain. It is thought that this receptor is the principal receptor required for BAFF-mediated mature B-cell survival.
Overexpression of Baff in mice results in mature B-cell hyperplasia and symptoms of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Also, some SLE patients have increased levels of BAFF in serum. Therefore, it has been proposed that abnormally high levels of BAFF may contribute to the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases by enhancing the survival of autoreactive B cells.
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