The tumor necrosis factor receptor (TNFR) superfamily represents a growing family, with over 20 members having been identified thus far in mammalian cells. These proteins share significant homologies in their extracellular ligand binding domains and intracellular effector (death) domains. These receptors appear to transmit their signals via protein-protein interactions, which convey either a death or survival signal. Isolation and characterization of death domain containing proteins (TRADD, FADD/MORT-1, RIP), TRAF domain containing proteins (TRAF1-6) as well as new members and adaptor proteins such as DAXX have provided new insights to our understanding of signaling mechanisms associated with this family of receptors. While the death signals seem to be associated with the activation of both the caspase and JUN kinase pathways, the survival signals are mediated via the activation of the NF-κB pathway.
- Death domain