Crosstalk between NF-kappaB-activating and apoptosis-inducing proteins of the TNF-receptor complex

Mol Cell Biol Res Commun. 2001 Sep;4(5):259-65. doi: 10.1006/mcbr.2001.0295.


The cytokine tumor necrosis factor (TNF) elicits a wide range of biological responses, including inflammation, cell proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis. Although the molecular mechanisms of TNF signaling have been largely elucidated, the principle that regulates the balance of life and death is still unknown. This review will focus on the crosstalk that exists between proteins of the TNF receptor (TNF-R) signalosome, and which are involved in the initiation of nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kappaB) activation or apoptosis. At least four different mechanisms of regulation can be distinguished: (i) NF-kappaB-mediated induction of proteins of the TNF-R complex; (ii) NF-kappaB-independent protection against apoptosis by the TNF-R-associating factor 2 (TRAF2)-mediated recruitment of antiapoptotic proteins; (iii) dual activation of apoptosis and NF-kappaB by a single molecule; and (iv) amplification of the death signal by proteolytic inactivation of signaling proteins that are involved in NF-kappaB activation or cell survival.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing*
  • Animals
  • Apoptosis*
  • Carrier Proteins / metabolism
  • Caspase 8
  • Caspase 9
  • Caspases / metabolism
  • Fas-Associated Death Domain Protein
  • Humans
  • Macromolecular Substances
  • NF-kappa B / agonists*
  • NF-kappa B / metabolism*
  • Proteins / metabolism
  • Receptor-Interacting Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction*
  • TNF Receptor-Associated Factor 2
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / metabolism


  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing
  • Carrier Proteins
  • FADD protein, human
  • Fas-Associated Death Domain Protein
  • Macromolecular Substances
  • NF-kappa B
  • Proteins
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor
  • TNF Receptor-Associated Factor 2
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • RIPK1 protein, human
  • Receptor-Interacting Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • CASP8 protein, human
  • CASP9 protein, human
  • Caspase 8
  • Caspase 9
  • Caspases