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Biological or Clinical Significance:

In the field of cell biology, TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL), is a protein functioning as a ligand that induces the process of cell death called apoptosis.TRAIL is a cytokine that is produced and secreted by most normal tissue cells. It causes apoptosis primarily in tumor cells, by binding to certain death receptors.

TRAIL binds to the death receptors DR4 (TRAIL-RI) and DR5 (TRAIL-RII). TRAIL also binds the receptors DcR1 and DcR2, which do not contain a cytoplasmic domain (DcR1) or contain a truncated death domain (DcR2). DcR1 functions as a TRAIL-neutralizing decoy-receptor. The cytoplasmic domain of DcR2 is functional and activates NFkappaB. In cells expressing DcR2, TRAIL binding therefore activates NFkappaB, leading to transcription of genes known to antagonize the death signaling pathway and/or to promote inflammation. In clinical trials only a small proportion of patients responded to various drugs that targeted TRAIL death receptors.

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TRAIL

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