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Apoptosis can be triggered by the engagement of cell surface receptors by their ligands. A growing number of receptors belonging to the TNF receptor family have been identified that contain a conserved cytoplasmic death domain. These include Fas, TNF-R1, lymphocyte-associated receptor of death (LARD), DR4, and TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand receptor inducer of cell killing-2 (TRICK2). The latter two are receptors for the cytotoxic ligand TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL), and one of the paradoxes raised by the cloning of these molecules was why do most cells not die upon contact with the widely expressed TRAIL molecule? This is a particular problem for lymphocytes that express DR4 and TRICK2 and are in constant circulation through TRAIL-expressing tissues. We have cloned LIT (lymphocyte inhibitor of TRAIL), which lacks a death domain. LIT is expressed predominantly on PBL, where it can competitively inhibit TRAIL-induced apoptosis through DR4/TRICK2, and may function to modulate lymphocyte sensitivity to TRAIL.


Journal article


J Immunol

Publication Date





3 - 6


Amino Acid Sequence, Apoptosis, Apoptosis Regulatory Proteins, Humans, Membrane Glycoproteins, Membrane Proteins, Molecular Sequence Data, Receptors, Immunologic, Repetitive Sequences, Nucleic Acid, Sequence Alignment, Sequence Homology, Amino Acid, TNF-Related Apoptosis-Inducing Ligand, Tissue Distribution, Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha