Figure 1: TNFL/TNFR signaling characteristics. (a) TNF-ligands are typically produced as type II transmembrane proteins, but the extracellular domain of most of these ligands can also be proteolytically cleaved by proteases, such as ADAM-17 (also known as TACE) [10], into a soluble form. Typically, the soluble ligand retains binding activity but has lost some or all receptor-activating activity. This activity can be restored by secondary cross-linking. (b) Signaling requirements of 4-1BB-signaling by s4-1BBL. (c) The cross-linking requirement of sTNF ligands makes their inclusion into an antibody fragment approach attractive. In brief, such a TNFL-fusion protein comprises a scFv antibody fragment genetically fused to the TNFL. This scFv:TNFL fusion protein is essentially inactive en route. However, upon target binding of the scFv antibody fragment domain the soluble ligand is converted into a signaling competent membrane-like ligand. (d). Illustration of target cell-restricted activation by scFv:4-1BBL.