Molecular mechanism of TNF signaling and beyond

Cell Res. 2005 Jan;15(1):24-7. doi: 10.1038/


Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) is a proinflammatory cytokine that plays a critical role in diverse cellular events, including cell proliferation, differentiation and apoptosis. TNF is also involved in many types of diseases. In recent years, the molecular mechanisms of TNF functions have been intensively investigated. Studies from many laboratories have demonstrated that the TNF-mediated diverse biological responses are achieved through activating multiple signaling pathways. Especially the activation of transcription factors NF-kB and AP-1 plays a critical role in mediating these cellular responses. Several proteins, including FADD, the death domain kinase RIP and the TNF receptor associated factor TRAF2 have been identified as the key effectors of TNF signaling. Recently, we found that the effector molecules of TNF signaling, such as RIP and TRAF2, are also involved in other cellular responses. These finding suggests that RIP and TRAF2 serve a broader role than as just an effector of TNF signaling.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis
  • Cell Death
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Humans
  • NF-kappa B / metabolism*
  • Necrosis
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction*
  • Transcription Factor AP-1 / metabolism
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / genetics*
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / metabolism*
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / physiology


  • Cytokines
  • NF-kappa B
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Transcription Factor AP-1
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha