Skip Navigation
Genetics Home Reference: your guide to understanding genetic conditions About   Site Map   Contact Us
Home A service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine®

TNFRSF gene family

Reviewed February 2010

What are the TNFRSF genes?

Genes in the tumor necrosis factor receptor superfamily (TNFRSF) provide instructions for making proteins that are involved in a variety of cellular functions. TNFRSF proteins are receptors that span the cell membrane, so that one end of the protein projects from the outer surface of the cell and the other end remains inside the cell. This structure allows the receptors to relay chemical signals from outside the cell to the interior of the cell.

Receptors in the TNFRSF family attach (bind) to a group of proteins known as tumor necrosis factors (TNFs) on the surface of cells. This binding triggers a series of chemical signals that can instruct cells to grow and divide, self-destruct (undergo apoptosis), or mature and take on specialized functions. TNFRSF receptors are found primarily on immune system cells, where they act as critical regulators of the body's immune responses and inflammatory reactions. These receptors also play important roles in the formation of tissues and organs during embryonic development (organogenesis). The receptors produced from two particular genes in this family, TNFRSF11A and TNFRSF11B, are involved in bone remodeling, the normal process by which old bone is broken down and new bone is created to replace it.

Studies suggest that changes in TNFRSF genes are associated with some autoimmune and chronic inflammatory diseases, such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. Mutations in the TNFRSF11A and TNFRSF11B genes are responsible for several rare bone diseases characterized by abnormal bone remodeling.

Which genes are included in the TNFRSF gene family?

The HUGO Gene Nomenclature Committee (HGNC) provides an index of gene familiesThis link leads to a site outside Genetics Home Reference. and their member genes.

Genetics Home Reference summarizes the normal function and health implications of these members of the TNFRSF gene family: FAS, TNFRSF1A, TNFRSF11A, TNFRSF11B, and TNFRSF13B.

What conditions are related to genes in the TNFRSF gene family?

Where can I find additional information about the TNFRSF gene family?

You may find the following resources about the TNFRSF gene family helpful.

Where can I find general information about genes and gene families?

The Handbook provides basic information about genetics in clear language.

What glossary definitions help with understanding the TNFRSF gene family?

apoptosis ; arthritis ; autoimmune ; bone remodeling ; cell ; cell membrane ; chronic ; domain ; embryonic ; FAS ; immune system ; necrosis ; osteoclast ; protein ; receptor ; transmembrane ; tumor

You may find definitions for these and many other terms in the Genetics Home Reference Glossary.

See also Understanding Medical Terminology.

References (5 links)


The resources on this site should not be used as a substitute for professional medical care or advice. Users seeking information about a personal genetic disease, syndrome, or condition should consult with a qualified healthcare professional. See How can I find a genetics professional in my area? in the Handbook.

Reviewed: February 2010
Published: February 1, 2016