HealthTree Logo
search more_vert
person Sign In / Create Account
What Makes it CLL? A Look at Membrane Proteins
Posted: Mar 08, 2023
What Makes it CLL? A Look at Membrane Proteins image

To check for CLL, one of the things a patient’s doctor will look for are certain proteins on the surface of the B-cell’s membrane. Different cancers will have a common protein pattern on the cell’s surface (immunophenotype). The B-cell will be labeled as CLL if proteins CD5, CD19, and CD23 are on the B-cell’s surface. Some CLL cells may also have surface protein CD20. To classify as CLL, the cells should never have surface protein CD10.

(Image source: NCCN)

To check for the protein pattern, the CLL patient’s doctor will complete a flow cytometry test

This is done by taking a sample of the patient’s blood and mixing it with a solution that includes fluorescent dyed antibodies to attach to each of the CLL cell’s specific proteins (CD5, CD19, CD20, and CD23). The sample is placed into the flow cytometer machine and the cells move single file past a laser. As the laser shines on each cell, the fluorescent antibody markers that have attached to the cell’s proteins will illuminate their dyed color. The computer records information from the test. 

(Image source: Abbexa)

A diagnosis of CLL is made if the test results show there are at least 5,000 copies of the same CLL cell. 

The author Megan Heaps

about the author
Megan Heaps

Megan joined HealthTree in 2022. As a writer and the daughter of a blood cancer patient, she is dedicated to helping patients and their caregivers understand the various aspects of their disease. This understanding enables them to better advocate for themselves and improve their treatment outcomes. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family. 

Thanks to our HealthTree Community for Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Sponsors:


Follow Us

facebook instagram youtube