Research ArticleNF-κB Signaling

Noncanonical NF-κB Activation by the Oncoprotein Tio Occurs Through a Nonconserved TRAF3-Binding Motif

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Sci. Signal.  23 Apr 2013:
Vol. 6, Issue 272, pp. ra27
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.2003309

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Members of the nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) family of transcription factors regulate many cellular functions. Activation of NF-κB signaling is commonly classified as occurring through canonical or noncanonical pathways. Most NF-κB–inducing stimuli, including the viral oncoprotein Tio, lead to a concerted activation of both NF-κB pathways; however, extensive crosstalk at multiple levels between these signaling cascades restricts the ability to discriminate between the canonical and the noncanonical effects. We showed that noncanonical NF-κB activation by Tio depends on a distinct sequence motif that directly recruits tumor necrosis factor receptor–associated factor 3 (TRAF3). Through its TRAF3-binding motif, Tio triggered a ubiquitin-independent depletion of TRAF3 from the cytosol, which prevented TRAF3 from inhibiting signaling through the noncanonical NF-κB cascade. Furthermore, the Tio-TRAF3 interaction did not affect components of the canonical NF-κB signaling pathway or the expression of target genes; thus, Tio induced noncanonical NF-κB independently of crosstalk with the canonical pathway. Together, these data identify a distinct molecular mechanism of noncanonical NF-κB activation that should enable studies into the particular functions of this pathway.

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