TNFα is a pro-inflammatory, acute phase cytokine involved in systemic inflammation.
The TNF precursor is expressed as a membrane-bound ligand, which is cleaved by TACE/ADAM17 to form this shed (or 'soluble') bioactive cytokine containing just the extracellular domain, and that circulates predominantly as a homotrimer. Recombinant TNF is used as an immunostimulant under the INN tasonermin.
Circulating active TNF-α is the principal molecular target of the anti-TNF therapeutics infliximab
. A smaller and longer acting and orally deliverable anti-TNF biologic called V565 is in early stage clinical development [2
]. Considering alternative modes of administration, V565 is a heavy chain only variable domain anti-TNF nanobody generated in Ilama that is further modified to enhance resistance to protease-mediated degradation. It binds shed TNF-α with similar affinity to infliximab and adalimumab, and also inhibits biological responses mediated by membrane-bound TNF-α [2
]. If this design strategy proves successful, V565 will be the first orally active anti-TNF therapy. V565 is being evaluated for potential to treat Crohn's disease (see Phase 2 study NCT02976129
View more information in the IUPHAR Pharmacology Education Project: tumour necrosis factor alpha