Regulation of cell fate by lymphotoxin (LT) receptor signalling: Functional differences and similarities of the LT system to other TNF superfamily (TNFSF) members

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The role of TNFR family members in regulating cell fate both in the immune system and in non-lymphoid tissues has been under extensive research for decades. Moreover, the ability of several family members (death receptors) to induce death (mainly via apoptosis) represents a promising target for cancer therapy. Many studies have focused mostly on death receptors such as TNFRI, Fas and TRAIL-R due to their strong pro-apoptotic potential. Yet, cell death can be triggered via non-classical death receptors, and the lymphotoxin (LT) system represents a very good example of such a TNFR subfamily. Here we provide a comprehensive review of intracellular signalling pathways and cellular responses to LT-specific signalling, and compare for the first time the LT system to other TNFRs, such as CD40. Our aim is to highlight that non-classical TNFR-TNFL dyads such as the LT system demonstrate more complex, cell-type and context-specific capabilities. Understanding these complexities will permit a better understanding of the biological mechanisms via which non-death domain-containing TNFRs induce cell death, but may also allow the design of better therapeutic strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)659-671
Number of pages13
JournalCytokine and Growth Factor Reviews
Issue number6
Early online date22 May 2015
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2015


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