TNF Superfamily Receptors

The TNF superfamily currently consists of 29 receptors, with three additional TNF family receptors having been identified in mice. Receptors for TNF family ligands are oligomeric, type I or type III transmembrane proteins that contain multiple extracellular cysteine-rich domains. Several of these receptors also contain intracellular death domains (DDs) that recruit caspase-interacting proteins following ligand binding to initiate the extrinsic pathway of caspase activation. Other TNF superfamily receptors that lack death domains bind TNF receptor-associated factors and activate intracellular signaling pathways that can lead to proliferation or differentiation. These receptors can also initiate apoptosis, but they do so via indirect mechanisms. In addition to regulating apoptosis, several TNF superfamily receptors are involved in regulating immune cell functions such as B cell homeostasis and activation, natural killer cell activation, and T cell co-stimulation. Several others regulate cell type-specific responses such as hair follicle development and osteoclast development.