Full name: B-cell activating factor

Aliases:1-3 TALL-1, THANK, BlyS, zTNF-4, and TNFSF-13b

Size:3 17 kDa

Family:1 TNF ligand family

Receptors:2,4 BAFF-R, TACI, and BCMA

Major cellular sources:2,4 Monocytes, macrophages, DC, bone marrow stromal cells, and T cells

Major cellular targets:3 B cells

Disease states associated with:2 Autoimmune rheumatic diseases, particularly systemic lupus erythematosus and Sjögren’s syndrome

Major physiologic functions:

  • BAFF plays an important role in the generation of mature B cells and is an important regulator of B-cell and T-cell responses.2

  • Interaction between BAFF and BAFF-R activates the NF-κB signaling pathway, which is essential for the formation and maintenance of B cells. Thus, BAFF is a critical factor for B-cell survival, proliferation, and maturation.1,4

  • Increased BAFF levels have been implicated in altered B-cell differentiation and activation, resulting in the production of class-switched autoantibodies and increased organ damage in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus.5,6

BAFF-R: BAFF receptor; BCMA: B-cell maturation antigen; BLyS: B-lymphocyte stimulator; DC: dendritic cell; NF-κB: nuclear factor kappa B; TACI: transmembrane activator and calcium-modulating cyclophilin ligand interactor; TALL-1: apoptosis ligand-related leukocyte-expressed ligand 1; THANK: TNF homolog that activates apoptosis, NF-κB, and c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase; TNF: tumor necrosis factor; TNFSF: TNF ligand superfamily.


  • 1.

    Rauch M, Tussiwand R, Bosco N, Rolink AG. PLoS One. 2009;4:e5456.​

  • 2.

    Ng LG, Sutherland APR, Newton R, et al. J Immunol. 2004;173:807-817.​

  • 3.

    Zhang J, Roschke V, Baker KP, et al. J lmmunol. 2001;166:6-10.​

  • 4.

    Smulski CR, Eibel H. Front Immunol. 2018;9:2285.

  • 5.

    Samy E, Wax S, Huard B, Hess H, Schneider P. Int Rev Immunol. 2017;36:3-19.​​

  • 6.

    Steri M, Orrù V, Idda ML, et al. N Engl J Med. 2017;376:1615-1626. ​