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J Biol Chem. 2006 May 19;281(20):13964-71. Epub 2006 Mar 17.

Interactions of tumor necrosis factor (TNF) and TNF receptor family members in the mouse and human.

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  • 1Biochemistry Department, University of Lausanne, CH-1066 Epalinges, Switzerland.


Ligands of the tumor necrosis factor superfamily (TNFSF) (4-1BBL, APRIL, BAFF, CD27L, CD30L, CD40L, EDA1, EDA2, FasL, GITRL, LIGHT, lymphotoxin alpha, lymphotoxin alphabeta, OX40L, RANKL, TL1A, TNF, TWEAK, and TRAIL) bind members of the TNF receptor superfamily (TNFRSF). A comprehensive survey of ligand-receptor interactions was performed using a flow cytometry-based assay. All ligands engaged between one and five receptors, whereas most receptors only bound one to three ligands. The receptors DR6, RELT, TROY, NGFR, and mouse TNFRH3 did not interact with any of the known TNFSF ligands, suggesting that they either bind other types of ligands, function in a ligand-independent manner, or bind ligands that remain to be identified. The study revealed that ligand-receptor pairs are either cross-reactive between human and mouse (e.g. Tweak/Fn14, RANK/RANKL), strictly species-specific (GITR/GITRL), or partially species-specific (e.g. OX40/OX40L, CD40/CD40L). Interestingly, the receptor binding patterns of lymphotoxin alpha and alphabeta are redundant in the human but not in the mouse system. Ligand oligomerization allowed detection of weak interactions, such as that of human TNF with mouse TNFR2. In addition, mouse APRIL exists as two different splice variants differing by a single amino acid. Although human APRIL does not interact with BAFF-R, the shorter variant of mouse APRIL exhibits weak but detectable binding to mouse BAFF-R.

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