Proposed Standard Nomenclature for New Tumor Necrosis Factor Family Members Involved in the Regulation of Bone Resorption

  • This article is published simultaneously in “Bone” © American Society for Bone and Mineral Research and Elsevier Science, Inc.


Recently, three new family members of the tumor necrosis factor (TNF) ligand and receptor signaling system that play a critical role in the regulation of bone resorption have been identified and cloned. These also have been shown to play an important role in regulating the immune system. A proliferation of synonyms for these molecules has led to miscommunication and redundancy. To resolve this, the President of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research (ASBMR) appointed a special committee to recommend a standard nomenclature. After considerable deliberation and after vetting by workers in the field, the Committee recommends the names of receptor activator of NF-κB (RANK) for the membrane receptor, RANK ligand (RANKL) for the ligand, and osteoprotegerin (OPG) for the decoy receptor.