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Genes in the tumor necrosis factor superfamily (TNFSF) provide instructions for making proteins that are involved in a variety of cellular functions. The first proteins grouped in this family were called tumor necrosis factors because of their ability to kill tumor cells. As other proteins were found to have similar structures, it was recognized that the TNFSF genes are also important regulators of inflammation, controlled cell death (apoptosis), the immune system, and the formation of tissues and organs during embryonic development (organogenesis).
TNFSF proteins are ligands, which means they can attach (bind) to other proteins called receptors. A ligand and its receptor fit together like a key in a lock. TNFSF proteins bind with members of the tumor necrosis factor receptor superfamily (TNFRSF). Depending on which proteins are involved, this binding triggers a series of chemical signals that instruct cells to grow and divide, self-destruct, or mature and take on specialized functions. Disorders caused by mutations in TNFSF genes all involve abnormal cell signaling resulting from a ligand that cannot properly interact with its receptor.
The HUGO Gene Nomenclature Committee (HGNC) provides an index of gene families (http://www.genenames.org/cgi-bin/genefamilies/) and their member genes.
Genetics Home Reference summarizes the normal function and health implications of this member of the TNFSF gene family: CD40LG.
Genetics Home Reference includes these conditions related to genes in the TNFSF gene family:
You may find the following resources about the TNFSF gene family helpful.
apoptosis ; cell ; embryonic ; immune system ; inflammation ; ligand ; necrosis ; receptor ; tumor
You may find definitions for these and many other terms in the Genetics Home Reference Glossary.
These sources were used to develop the Genetics Home Reference summary for the TNFSF gene family.
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? (http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/handbook/consult/findingprofessional) in the Handbook.