Affiliation: Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, Rochester, MN, 55905, USA.
TNF-related apoptosis inducing ligand (TRAIL) is a key mediator of the innate immune response to infection. While TRAIL-mediated apoptosis plays an essential role in the clearance of virus-infected cells, its physiologic role also includes immunosurveilance for cancer cells. Therapeutics that induce TRAIL-mediated apoptosis in cancer cells remain a focus of ongoing investigation in clinical trials, and much has been learned from these studies regarding the efficacy and toxicity of these interventions. These data, combined with data from numerous preclinical studies that detail the important and multifaceted role of TRAIL during infection with human immunodeficiency virus and other viruses, suggest that therapeutic exploitation of TRAIL signaling offers a novel and efficacious strategy for the management of infectious diseases.