Activity of soluble OX40 ligand is enhanced by oligomerization and cell surface immobilization

FEBS J. 2008 May;275(9):2296-304. doi: 10.1111/j.1742-4658.2008.06382.x. Epub 2008 Apr 3.


OX40 ligand (OX40L) and OX40 are typical members of the tumor necrosis factor ligand family and the tumor necrosis factor receptor superfamily, respectively, and are involved in the costimulation and differentiation of T cells. Like other tumor necrosis factor ligands, OX40L is a type II transmembrane protein. Recombinant soluble human OX40L assembles into trimers and is practically inactive despite binding to OX40. However, oligomerization of soluble OX40L trimers by cross-linking with antibodies or by expression as a hexameric fusion protein strongly increased the activity of the ligand. Moreover, a fusion protein of OX40L with a single chain fragment recognizing the tumor stroma antigen fibroblast activation protein showed a cell surface antigen-dependent increase in the activity of the ligand domain of the molecule and thus mimicked the activity of membrane OX40L upon antigen binding. Trimeric single chain OX40L fusion proteins therefore represent a novel type of OX40L-derived immunostimulatory molecule with potentially reduced systemic side effects.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / metabolism
  • Antigens / metabolism
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism*
  • Cross-Linking Reagents / chemistry
  • Dimerization
  • Humans
  • Kidney / cytology
  • OX40 Ligand / chemistry
  • OX40 Ligand / genetics
  • OX40 Ligand / isolation & purification
  • OX40 Ligand / metabolism*
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / metabolism
  • Solubility
  • Surface Properties


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antigens
  • Cross-Linking Reagents
  • OX40 Ligand
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins