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Essays Biochem. 2003;39:53-71.

Death receptors.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Internal Medicine, Medical Polyclinic, University of Wuerzburg, Roentgenring 11, 97 070 Wuerzburg, Germany.


Death receptors [Fas/Apo-1/CD95, TNF-R1 [tumour necrosis factor (TNF) receptor 1], DR3 [death receptor 3], TRAIL-R1 [TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand receptor 1], TRAIL-R2, DR6, p75-NGFR [p75-nerve growth factor receptor], EDAR [ectodermal dysplasia receptor]] form a subgroup of the TNF-R superfamily that can induce apoptosis (programmed cell death) via a conserved cytoplasmic signalling module termed the death domain. Although death receptors have been recognized mainly as apoptosis inducers, there is growing evidence that these receptors also fulfil a variety of nonapoptotic functions. This review is focused on the molecular mechanisms of apoptotic and non-apoptotic death receptor signalling in light of the phenotype of mice deficient in the various death receptors.

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