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Two mechanistically and temporally distinct NF-kappaB activation pathways in IL-1 signaling

Sci Signal. 2009 Oct 20;2(93):ra66.
Yamazaki K, Gohda J, Kanayama A, Miyamoto Y, Sakurai H, Yamamoto M, Akira S, Hayashi H, Su B, Inoue J.
Division of Cellular and Molecular Biology, Department of Cancer Biology, Institute of Medical Science, University of Tokyo, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-8639, Japan.

The cytokine interleukin-1 (IL-1) mediates immune and inflammatory responses by activating the transcription factor nuclear factor kappaB (NF-kappaB). Although transforming growth factor-beta-activated kinase 1 (TAK1) and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) kinase kinase 3 (MEKK3) are both crucial for IL-1-dependent activation of NF-kappaB, their potential functional and physical interactions remain unclear. Here, we showed that TAK1-mediated activation of NF-kappaB required the transient formation of a signaling complex that included tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated factor 6 (TRAF6), MEKK3, and TAK1. Site-specific, lysine 63-linked polyubiquitination of TAK1 at lysine 209, likely catalyzed by TRAF6 and Ubc13, was required for the formation of this complex. After TAK1-mediated activation of NF-kappaB, TRAF6 subsequently activated NF-kappaB through MEKK3 independently of TAK1, thereby establishing continuous activation of NF-kappaB, which was required for the production of sufficient cytokines. Therefore, we propose that the cooperative activation of NF-kappaB by two mechanistically and temporally distinct MEKK3-dependent pathways that diverge at TRAF6 critically contributes to immune and inflammatory systems.