Apo2 ligand/TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (Apo2L/TRAIL) was independently identified by two different groups as the third member of the tumor necrosis factor (TNF) super-family (Wiley et al. 1995; Pitti et al. 1996). It was soon described as capable of inducing apoptosis in transformed cells while sparing normal cells (LeBlanc and Ashkenazi 2003). Apo2L/TRAIL is a type-II membrane protein, composed of 281 amino acids and its gene, designated as TNFSF10, is located on human chromosome 3 at locus 3q26. Its C-terminal extracellular domain shares significant homology with other members of the TNF super-family, whereas the N-terminal does not. The polypeptide moiety of the Apo2L/TRAIL monomer has a predicted molecular mass of 32.5 kDa, but its mature, fully glycosylated form has a molecular mass of around...
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