Tumour necrosis factor (TNF), an important proinflammatory cytokine, plays a role in the regulation of cell differentiation, proliferation and death, as well as in inflammation, innate and adaptive immune responses, and also implicated in a wide variety of human diseases. The presence of DNA sequence variations in regulatory region might interfere with transcription of TNF gene, influencing the circulating level of TNF and thus increases the susceptibility to human diseases (infectious, cancer, autoimmune, neurodegenerative and other diseases). In this review, we have comprehensively analysed various published case–control studies of different types of human diseases, in which TNF gene polymorphism played a role, and computationally predicted several single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) lie in transcription factor–binding sites (TFBS) of transcription factors (TFs). It has been observed that TNF enhancer polymorphism is implicated in several diseases, and TNF rs1800629 and rs361525 SNPs are the most important in human disease susceptibility as these might influence the transcription of TNF gene. Thirty-two SNPs lies in TFBS of 20 TFs have been detected in the TNF upstream region. It has been found that TNF enhancer polymorphism influences the serum level of TNF in different human diseases and thus affects the susceptibility to diseases. The presence of DNA sequence variation in TNF gene causes the modification of transcriptional regulation and thus responsible for association of susceptibility/resistance with human diseases.