TUMOR NECROSIS FACTOR ALPHA
Human tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα) is a homotrimeric transmembrane protein that functions as a proinflammatory cytokine. It is produced mainly by macrophages but also by a variety of other cell types, including monocytes, neutrophils, and T-cells. The involvement of TNFα in several signal transduction pathways links the protein to such diverse functions as acute inflammation, apoptosis, septic shock, cellular proliferation, and differentiation. Human TNFα is a non-glycosylated protein of 157 amino acids, with a molecular weight of approximately 17,000 daltons. The clinical relevance of TNFα stems from its association with numerous disease states including rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, cachexia, and Crohn’s disease.