Ligands and receptors of the TNF superfamily are therapeutically relevant targets in a wide range of human diseases. This chapter describes assays based on ELISA, immunoprecipitation, FACS, and reporter cell lines to monitor interactions of tagged receptors and ligands in both soluble and membrane-bound forms using unified detection techniques. A reporter cell assay that is sensitive to ligand oligomerization can identify ligands with high probability of being active on endogenous receptors. Several assays are also suitable to measure the activity of agonist or antagonist antibodies, or to detect interactions with proteoglycans. Finally, self-interaction of membrane-bound receptors can be evidenced using a FRET-based assay. This panel of methods provides a large degree of flexibility to address questions related to the specificity, activation, or inhibition of TNF-TNF receptor interactions in independent assay systems, but does not substitute for further tests in physiologically relevant conditions.
Keywords: Avidity; Cell death; Interaction; Ligand; Receptor.
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