The adaptor and signaling proteins TRAF2, TRAF3, cIAP1 and cIAP2 may inhibit alternative nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) signaling in resting cells by targeting NF-κB-inducing kinase (NIK) for ubiquitin-dependent degradation, thus preventing processing of the NF-κB2 precursor protein p100 to release p52. However, the respective functions of TRAF2 and TRAF3 in NIK degradation and activation of alternative NF-κB signaling have remained elusive. We now show that CD40 or BAFF receptor activation result in TRAF3 degradation in a cIAP1-cIAP2- and TRAF2-dependent way owing to enhanced cIAP1, cIAP2 TRAF3-directed ubiquitin ligase activity. Receptor-induced activation of cIAP1 and cIAP2 correlated with their K63-linked ubiquitination by TRAF2. Degradation of TRAF3 prevented association of NIK with the cIAP1-cIAP2-TRAF2 ubiquitin ligase complex, which resulted in NIK stabilization and NF-κB2-p100 processing. Constitutive activation of this pathway causes perinatal lethality and lymphoid defects.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy