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Deficiency of T2K leads to apoptotic liver degeneration and impaired NF-kappaB-dependent gene transcription.

Authors:
Bonnard M, Mirtsos C, Suzuki S, Graham K, Huang J, Ng M, Itié A, Wakeham A, Shahinian A, Henzel WJ, Elia AJ, Shillinglaw W, Mak TW, Cao Z, Yeh WC
Affiliation:
Journal:
The EMBO journal

Abstract

Induction of NF-kappaB-dependent transcription requires phosphorylation and subsequent degradation of I-kappaB, an inhibitor of NF-kappaB, followed by nuclear translocation and DNA binding of NF-kappaB. Tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated factor 2 (TRAF2) plays a role in NF-kappaB activation in response to cytokines such as tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFalpha). In this study, we purified and characterized a novel kinase (T2K, also known as TBK1 or NAK), which associates with TRAF2 and exhibits kinase activity towards I-kappaBalpha in vitro. The physiological function of T2K was investigated using T2K-deficient mice. Heterozygotes appear normal, but t2k(-/-) animals die at approximately E14.5 of massive liver degeneration and apoptosis. Never theless, hematopoietic progenitors from T2K-deficient fetal liver support normal lymphocyte development. Furthermore, t2k(-/-) embryonic fibroblasts and thymocytes do not display increased sensitivity to TNFalpha-induced apoptosis. In response to either TNFalpha or IL-1 induction, t2k(-/-) embryonic fibroblasts exhibit normal degradation of I-kappaB and kappaB-binding activity. However, NF-kappaB-directed transcription is dramatically reduced. These results demonstrate that, like I-kappaB kinase beta and the RelA subunit of NF-kappaB, T2K is critical in protecting embryonic liver from apoptosis. However, T2K has a unique role in the activation of NF-kappaB-directed transcription, apparently independent of I-kappaB degradation and NF-kappaB DNA binding.

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