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Cell. 1992 Jul 10;70(1):47-56.

The p70 tumor necrosis factor receptor mediates cytotoxicity.

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Institute of Cancer and Developmental Biology, Syntex Research, Palo Alto, California 94303.


Tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF) selectively kills tumor cells, but this specificity is not clearly understood. Two distinctly different cell surface receptors (TNFRs), proteins of 55 kd (p55) and 70-80 kd (p70), mediate TNF action. Mouse TA1 cells are not killed by human (h) TNF, but are killed by mouse (m) TNF alone. Since the mouse p70 TNFR is recognized only by mTNF, these results implicate p70 receptor action in TA1 cell killing. Human HeLa cells have mainly the p55 receptor and are not killed by hTNF alone. When transfected with the human p70 TNFR, HeLa p70 die within 24 hr. HeLa p70 cells also show reduced c-fos and manganous superoxide dismutase induction by TNF. NIH 3T3 mouse fibroblasts are sensitive to only mTNF, but overexpression of the human p70 receptor causes cell death by hTNF and increased sensitivity to mTNF. These results provide a direct function for the p70 TNFR in TNF-induced cytotoxicity.

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