The protein encoded by this gene is a cytokine that belongs to the tumor necrosis factor (TNF) ligand family. This protein is abundantly expressed in endothelial cells, but is not expressed in either B or T cells. The expression of this protein is inducible by TNF-alpha and IL-1 alpha. This cytokine is a ligand for receptor TNFRSF25 (death receptor 3) and TNFRSF6B (decoy receptor 3). It can activate both the NF-κB and MAPK signalling pathways, and acts as an autocrine factor to induce apoptosis in endothelial cells. This cytokine is also found to inhibit endothelial cell proliferation, and thus may function as an angiogenesis inhibitor. An additional isoform encoded by an alternatively spliced transcript variant has been reported but the sequence of this transcript has not been determined.
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