Tumor necrosis factor (TNF-alpha) and lymphotoxin (TNF-beta)

Curr Opin Immunol. 1992 Jun;4(3):327-32. doi: 10.1016/0952-7915(92)90084-r.


Distinctions between tumor necrosis factor, TNF-alpha, and lymphotoxin, TNF-beta, have previously been based on the differences between their protein sequences, biological activity, and molecular regulation. In the past year, elucidation of the molecular nature of the two molecules and the interactions with common receptors has emphasized their similarities, although profound differences continue to emerge with regard to their mode of production, transcription rates, mRNA half-lives, and the importance of various DNA regulatory sequences. A role for both TNF-alpha and TNF-beta has recently been suggested with regard to disease, particularly multiple sclerosis. The past year has also seen the description of an extensive microsatellite polymorphic system which should provide a more definitive understanding of the association of the TNF locus with disease.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Humans
  • Lymphotoxin-alpha / chemistry
  • Lymphotoxin-alpha / physiology*
  • Multiple Sclerosis / immunology
  • Polymorphism, Genetic
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / immunology
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor
  • Structure-Activity Relationship
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / chemistry
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / physiology*


  • Lymphotoxin-alpha
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha