The protein encoded by this gene is a cytokine that belongs to the tumor necrosis factor (TNF) ligand family. This cytokine is a ligand for TNFRSF27/CD27. It is a surface antigen on activated, but not on resting, T and B lymphocytes. It induces proliferation of costimulated T cells, enhances the generation of cytolytic T cells, and contributes to T cell activation. This cytokine is also reported to play a role in regulating B-cell activation, cytotoxic function of natural killer cells, and immunoglobulin sythesis.