It has been reported in some human cells that, in addition to a plasma membrane localization, members of the tumour necrosis factor receptor superfamily may be localized to the Golgi complex. We have shown by immunofluorescence and immunoelectron microscopy that the p55 tumour necrosis factor receptor, TNFR1, is principally localized to the trans-Golgi network in the human breast carcinoma cell line, MCF7. Chimaeras consisting of the extracellular and transmembrane domains of CD8 together with the cytoplasmic tail of TNFR1 were targeted to the trans-Golgi network in stably transfected rat fibroblastic cells. Deletions in the cytoplasmic tails of these chimaeras demonstrated the requirement for the C-terminal sequence of 23 amino acids for this targeting. The 23 amino acid sequence is mostly outside the death domain and contains both an acid patch and a dileucine motif. Interaction of this sequence with membrane traffic adaptor proteins may play an important role in controlling the responses of cells to tumour necrosis factor, since binding of signalling adaptor proteins has only been demonstrated for plasma membrane, and not Golgi-localized, TNFR1.

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