TRAF Proteins in CD40 Signaling

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The tumor necrosis factor receptor (TNFR) superfamily molecule CD40 is expressed by a wide variety of cell types following activation signals, and constitutively on B lymphocytes, macrophages, and dendritic cells. CD40 signals to cells stimulate kinase activation, gene expression, production of a antibody and a variety of cytokines, expression or upregulation of surface molecules, and protection or promotion of apoptosis. Initial steps in CD40-mediated signal cascades involve the interactions of CD40 with various members of the TNFR-associated factor (TRAF) family of cytoplasmic proteins. This review summarizes current understanding of the nature of these interactions, and how they induce and regulate CD40 functions.