Essential role of TAK1 in thymocyte development and activation

Hong Hsing Liu, Min Xie, Michael D. Schneider, Zhijian J. Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

132 Scopus citations


The protein kinase TAK1 mediates the activation of NF-κB in response to stimulation by proinflammatory cytokines and microbial pathogens in the innate immunity pathways. However, the physiological function of TAK1 in the adaptive immunity pathways is unclear. By engineering mice lacking TAK1 in T cells, here, we show that TAK1 is essential for thymocyte development and activation in vivo. Deletion of TAK1 prevented the maturation of single-positive thymocytes displaying CD4 or CD8, leading to reduction of T cells in the peripheral tissues. Thymocytes lacking TAK1 failed to activate NF-κB and JNK and were prone to apoptosis upon stimulation. Our results provide the genetic evidence that TAK1 is required for the activation of NF-κB in thymocytes and suggest that TAK1 plays a central role in both innate and adaptive immunity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11677-11682
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number31
StatePublished - Aug 1 2006


  • IκB kinase
  • JNK
  • NF-κB
  • T cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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