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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Plasma membrane-associated tumor necrosis factor. A non-integral membrane protein possibly bound to its own receptor.

Purified plasma membranes from LPS- activated human blood monocytes produced significant lysis and growth inhibition of the TNF-sensitive L929 murine fibroblast cell line. Unactivated human monocyte plasma membranes did not display either activity. Anti-TNF serum specifically inhibited the anti-tumor activity of activated monocyte membranes whereas anti-IL-1 serum or non-specific rabbit serum decreased neither the lysis nor growth inhibition of L929 cells. Membrane-associated TNF did not behave as an integral protein as it could be eluted from the plasma membranes by either high salt or low pH treatment. Plasma membranes cleared of membrane-associated TNF by high salt treatment were able to bind TNF, and this binding was specifically inhibited by preincubation of rTNF with specific anti-TNF serum. Western blot analysis of plasma membranes showed a membrane-associated TNF with a m. w. of approximately 17 kDa present only in the activated monocytes. When the plasma membranes were preincubated with the cross-linker agent dissuccinimidyl suberate, Western blot analysis revealed the presence of a TNF-binding protein with a Mr of approximately 102 kDa. These studies indicate that unlike IL-1, membrane-associated TNF is not an integral membrane protein and that TNF may be associated with the monocyte membrane by occupying the TNF R.[1]


  1. Plasma membrane-associated tumor necrosis factor. A non-integral membrane protein possibly bound to its own receptor. Bakouche, O., Ichinose, Y., Heicappell, R., Fidler, I.J., Lachman, L.B. J. Immunol. (1988) [Pubmed]
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