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Cell Res. 2004 Oct;14(5):359-72.

Following a TRAIL: update on a ligand and its five receptors.

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Department of Medicine, Hammersmith Hospital, Imperial College, Du Cane Road, London, UK.


Identification of tumour necrosis factor apoptosis inducing ligand (TRAIL), a TNF family ligand, sparked a torrent of research, following an initial observation that it could kill tumour cells, but spare normal cells. Almost a decade after its discovery, and with five known receptors, the true physiological role of TRAIL is still debated and its anti-tumorigenic properties limited by potential toxicity. This review takes a comprehensive look at the story of this enigmatic ligand, addressing its remaining potential as a therapeutic and providing an overview of the TRAIL receptors themselves.

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