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Immunity. 1995 Dec;3(6):673-82.

Identification and characterization of a new member of the TNF family that induces apoptosis.

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  • 1Immunex Research and Development Corporation, Seattle, Washington 98101, USA.


A novel tumor necrosis factor (TNF) family member has been cloned and characterized. This protein, designated TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL), consists of 281 and 291 aa in the human and murine forms, respectively, which share 65% aa identity. TRAIL is a type II membrane protein, whose C-terminal extracellular domain shows clear homology to other TNF family members. TRAIL transcripts are detected in a variety of human tissues, most predominantly in spleen, lung, and prostate. The TRAIL gene is located on chromosome 3 at position 3q26, which is not close to any other known TNF ligand family members. Both full-length cell surface expressed TRAIL and picomolar concentrations of soluble TRAIL rapidly induce apoptosis in a wide variety of transformed cell lines of diverse origin.

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