Many immune responses depend upon activation of NF-κB, a key transcription factor in the elicitation of a cytokine response. Here we demonstrate that N4BP1 inhibited TLR-dependent activation of NF-κB by interacting with the NF-κB signaling essential modulator (NEMO, also known as IκB kinase γ) to attenuate NEMO-NEMO dimerization or oligomerization. The UBA-like (ubiquitin associated-like) and CUE-like (ubiquitin conjugation to ER degradation) domains in N4BP1 mediated the interaction with the NEMO COZI domain. Both in vitro and in mice, N4bp1 deficiency specifically enhanced TRIF-independent (TLR2, TLR7, or TLR9-mediated), but not TRIF-dependent (TLR3 or TLR4-mediated), NF-κB activation leading to increased production of proinflammatory cytokines. In response to TLR4 or TLR3 activation, TRIF caused activation of caspase 8, which cleaved N4BP1 distal to residues D424 and D490 and abolished its inhibitory effect. N4bp1-/- mice also exhibited diminished numbers of T cells in the peripheral blood. Our work identifies N4BP1 as an inhibitory checkpoint protein that must be overcome to activate NF-κB, and a TRIF-initiated caspase 8-dependent mechanism by which this is accomplished.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)
- Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)