TWEAK is a cytokine that belongs to the TNF superfamily. TWEAK binds to the Fn14 receptor to activate alternative and classical NFκB pathways, MAPKs, TAK1 and PI3K/Akt intracellular signaling pathways. TWEAK regulates cell proliferation, cell death, cell differentiation, angiogenesis and inflammation. Functional studies targeting TWEAK and/or Fn14 implicate the system in acute and chronic tissue injury, tissue repair and cancer. Circulating soluble TWEAK has been postulated as a biomarker of endothelial injury, atherosclerosis and clinical outcomes in chronic kidney disease patients. In addition, urinary TWEAK has been suggested to be a biomarker of lupus nephritis activity. A database search yielded one patent on TWEAK as a biomarker of subclinical cardiovascular injury. Further research is needed to validate the relevance of TWEAK assessment as a decision-making clinical tool.
Keywords: Atherosclerosis, biomarker, cardiovascular, chronic kidney disease, lupus nephritis, outcomes, TWEAK, TNF receptor superfamily, MULTIFUNCTIONAL CYTOKINE, Inflammation, Cell proliferation
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