New insights into apoptosis signaling by Apo2L/TRAIL.
Apoptosis ligand 2 tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (Apo2L/TRAIL) belongs to a small subset of proapoptotic protein ligands in the TNF superfamily. This subset, which also includes Fas ligand and TNF-alpha, can activate the extrinsic apoptotic cell death pathway on binding to cognate death receptors at the cell surface. Over the past 10 years, Apo2L/TRAIL has emerged as a promising candidate for cancer therapy, on the basis of its unique ability to trigger apoptosis in various types of cancer cells without significant toxicity toward normal cells. Herein, we review key advances in understanding the molecular events that control apoptosis signaling by Apo2L/TRAIL, which may aid in the development of cancer therapies based on the extrinsic apoptotic pathway.
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