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Adv Exp Med Biol. 2007;597:152-9.

TRAFs in RANK signaling.

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Department of Experimental Therapeutics, University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.


Members of the tumor necrosis factor (TNF) family govern many diverse physiological and cellular responses including cellular proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis. Ligands of this family interact through a distinct set of specific receptors that lack enzymatic activity and therefore are dependent on the association of adaptor molecules. One receptor/ligand pair known as receptor activator of nuclear factor-kappa B (RANK) and RANK ligand (RANKL) regulates bone remodeling, mammary gland development, and lymph node organogenesis. RANK interacts with five members of the TNF receptor-associated factor (TRAF) family, of which TRAF6 is indispensable for its signaling capability. An accumulation of evidence from various research laboratories indicates TRAFs, but more importantly TRAF6, is the key to understanding how RANKL links cytoplasmic signaling to the nuclear transcriptional program.

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