|Home | About | Journals | Submit | Contact Us | Français|
Signalling by the tumour necrosis factor receptors (TNFR) is thought to be mediated by the binding of the trimeric ligand TNF to three monomeric subunits of the receptor. This ligand induced trimerisation model of TNFR signalling is mainly supported by crystallographic data of the p60 TNFR-1 and TNFβ complex in which the trimeric ligand interdigitates between the individual receptor chains and prevents the receptor subunits from interacting with each other. Recently, a domain NH2-terminal to the ligand binding domain in the extracellular region of p60 TNFR-1, p80 TNFR-2 and Fas was identified that mediates receptor self association before ligand binding. This pre-ligand binding assembly domain or PLAD is critical for assembly of functional receptor complexes on the cell surface and may provide a potential target in the design of future novel therapeutics against diseases mediated by members of the TNFR family of receptors.