Molecular mechanisms of tumor necrosis factor-induced cytotoxicity. What we do understand and what we do not

FEBS Lett. 1994 Feb 28;340(1-2):9-16. doi: 10.1016/0014-5793(94)80163-0.


Although TNF plays an important role in several physiological and pathological conditions, the hallmark of this important cytokine has been its selective cytotoxic activity on tumor cells. Since its cloning in 1984, understanding of how TNF selectively kills tumor cells has been the subject of research in many laboratories. Here we review TNF-induced post-receptor signaling mechanisms which seem to be involved in the pathway to cytotoxicity.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / metabolism
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / metabolism
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / pharmacology*


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha