Signalling by the tumour necrosis factor receptors (TNFR) is thought to be mediated by the binding of the trimeric ligand TNF to three monomeric subunits of the receptor. This ligand induced trimerisation model of TNFR signalling is mainly supported by crystallographic data of the p60 TNFR-1 and TNFβ complex in which the trimeric ligand interdigitates between the individual receptor chains and prevents the receptor subunits from interacting with each other. Recently, a domain NH2-terminal to the ligand binding domain in the extracellular region of p60 TNFR-1, p80 TNFR-2 and Fas was identified that mediates receptor self association before ligand binding. This pre-ligand binding assembly domain or PLAD is critical for assembly of functional receptor complexes on the cell surface and may provide a potential target in the design of future novel therapeutics against diseases mediated by members of the TNFR family of receptors.
Lymphotoxin α (LTα) signals via tumor necrosis factor receptors (TNFRs) as a homotrimer and via lymphotoxin β receptor (LTβR) as a heterotrimeric LTα1β2 complex. LTα-deficient mice lack all lymph nodes (LNs) and Peyer's patches (PPs), and yet LTβ-deficient mice and TNFR-deficient mice have cervical and mesenteric LN. We now show that mice made deficient in both LTβ and TNFR type 1 (TNFR1) lack all LNs, revealing redundancy or synergism between TNFR1 and LTβ, acting presumably via LTβR. A complete lack of only PPs in mice heterozygous for both ltα and ltβ, but not ltα or ltβ alone, suggests a similar two-ligand phenomenon in PP development and may explain the incomplete lack of PPs seen in tnfr1−/− mice.
lymphotoxin beta; tumor necrosis factor receptor 1; knockout mice; mesenteric lymph nodes; Peyer's patches
Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) is a cytokine that mediates many pathophysiologial processes, including angiogenesis. However, the molecular signaling involved in TNF-induced angiogenesis has not been determined. In this study, we examined the role of Etk/Bmx, an endothelial/epithelial tyrosine kinase involved in cell adhesion, migration, and survival in TNF-induced angiogenesis. We show that TNF activates Etk specifically through TNF receptor type 2 (TNFR2) as demonstrated by studies using a specific agonist to TNFR2 and TNFR2-deficient cells. Etk forms a preexisting complex with TNFR2 in a ligand-independent manner, and the association is through multiple domains (pleckstrin homology domain, TEC homology domain, and SH2 domain) of Etk and the C-terminal domain of TNFR2. The C-terminal 16-amino-acid residues of TNFR2 are critical for Etk association and activation, and this Etk-binding and activating motif in TNFR2 is not overlapped with the TNFR-associated factor type 2 (TRAF2)-binding sequence. Thus, TRAF2 is not involved in TNF-induced Etk activation, suggesting a novel mechanism for Etk activation by cytokine receptors. Moreover, a constitutively active form of Etk enhanced, whereas a dominant-negative Etk blocked, TNF-induced endothelial cell migration and tube formation. While most TNF actions have been attributed to TNFR1, our studies demonstrate that Etk is a TNFR2-specific kinase involved in TNF-induced angiogenic events.
We examine the relationship between binding affinity and interface size for reversible protein-protein interactions (PPI), using cytokines from the tumor necrosis factor (TNF) superfamily and their receptors as a test case. Using surface plasmon resonance, we measured single-site binding affinities for the large receptor TNFR1 binding to its ligands TNFα (KD = 1.4 ± 0.4 nM) and lymphotoxin-α (KD = 50 ± 10 nM), and also for the small receptor Fn14 binding to TWEAK (KD = 70 ± 10 nM). We additionally assembled data for all other TNF/TNFR family complexes for which reliable single site binding affinities have been reported. We used these values to calculate the binding efficiency – defined as binding energy per Å2 of surface area buried at the contact interface – for the nine of these complexes for which co-crystal structures are available, and compared the results to those for a set of 144 protein-protein complexes with published affinity values. The results show that the most efficient PPI complexes generate ~20 cal.mol−1/Å2 of binding energy. A minimum contact area of ~500 Å2 is required for a stable complex, required to generate sufficient interaction energy to pay the entropic cost of co-localizing two proteins from 1 M solution. The most compact and efficient TNF/TNFR complex was BAFF/BR3, which achieved ~80% of the maximum achievable binding efficiency. Other small receptors also gave high binding efficiencies, while the larger receptors generated only 44-49% of this limit despite interacting primarily through just a single small domain. The results provide new insight into how much binding energy can be generated by a PPI interface of a given size, and establish a quantitative method to predict how large a natural or engineered contact interface must be to achieve a given level of binding affinity.
binding energy; binding affinity; protein-protein binding; ligand efficiency; TNF superfamily; TNF receptor; TNFR1; TNFRp55; TNFα; LTα; Fn14; TWEAK; cysteine rich domain; protein evolution; protein engineering; affinity maturation
Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) and lymphotoxin (LT) are highly pleiotropic cytokines that play a central role in regulating HIV-1 replication. These cytokines express their activities through two membrane receptors, TNFR60 (p55-60) and TNFR80 (p75-80). In the present study we have demonstrated by means of antagonistic and agonistic receptor-specific antibodies that in latently infected lymphocytic (ACH-2) cells the TNFR60 plays a dominant role in signaling HIV production, although selective activation of TNFR80 by receptor-specific antibodies can also induce HIV production. Unexpectedly, when both TNFRs were activated simultaneously by agonistic antibodies or coculture with cells expressing a noncleavable membrane form of TNF, HIV production was downregulated and induction of cell death was enhanced in ACH-2 cells. More relevant, in vitro HIV-infected peripheral blood lymphocytes cocultured with cells expressing membrane TNF underwent rapid induction of apoptosis with a subsequent reduced HIV production of these lymphocytes cultures. This was not observed with HIV-infected lymphocytes treated with soluble TNF. These data provide evidence for the differential trigger potential of membrane versus soluble TNF and show that TNFR80 is an important modulator of TNF responsiveness of HIV-infected T cells via cooperative signaling with TNFR60.
The tumor necrosis factor (TNF) family of cytokines and their receptors regulates many areas of metazoan biology. Specifically, this cytokine-receptor family plays crucial roles in regulating myriad aspects of immune development and functions. Disruption of ligand-receptor interaction or downstream signal transduction components in the TNF family often leads to pathological conditions. Historically, the members of the TNF receptor family (TNFRs) were thought to exist as monomeric receptor chains prior to stimulation. Binding of the trimeric ligand then induces the trimerization of the receptors and activation of downstream signaling. However, recent evidence indicates that many TNFRs exist as pre-assembled oligomers on the cell surface. Pre-ligand assembly of TNFR oligomers is mediated by the pre-ligand assembly domain (PLAD), which resides within the membrane distal cysteine-rich domain of the receptors. Growing evidence indicates that PLAD-mediated receptor association regulates cellular responses to TNF-like cytokines, especially in cells of the immune system. Thus, targeting pre-ligand assembly may offer new possibilities for therapeutic intervention in different pathological conditions involving TNF-like cytokines.
Pre-ligand assembly domain; PLAD; TNF; TRAIL; apoptosis
The tumor necrosis factor (TNF) receptor superfamily member herpesvirus entry mediator (HVEM) (TNFRSF14) regulates T-cell immune responses by activating both inflammatory and inhibitory signaling pathways. HVEM acts as both a receptor for the canonical TNF-related ligands, LIGHT [lymphotoxin-like, exhibits inducible expression, and competes with herpes simplex virus glycoprotein D for HVEM, a receptor expressed on T lymphocytes] and lymphotoxin-α, and as a ligand for the immunoglobulin superfamily proteins BTLA (B and T lymphocyte attenuator) and CD160, a feature distinguishing HVEM from other immune regulatory molecules. The ability of HVEM to interact with multiple ligands in distinct configurations creates a functionally diverse set of intrinsic and bidirectional signaling pathways that control both inflammatory and inhibitory responses. The HVEM system is integrated into the larger LTβR and TNFR network through extensive shared ligand and receptor usage. Experimental mouse models and human diseases indicate that dysregulation of HVEM network may contribute to autoimmune pathogenesis, making it an attractive target for drug intervention.
T cells; asthma; autoimmunity; cancer; cytokines; inflammation
Tumor necrosis factor-α (TNFα) is a pleiotropic cytokine that can regulate cell survival, inflammation or, under certain circumstances, trigger cell death. Previous work in rat seizure models and analysis of temporal lobe samples from epilepsy patients has suggested seizures activate TNF receptor 1 (TNFR1). Here we explored the activation and functional significance of TNFR1 signaling in the mouse hippocampus using in vitro and in vivo models of seizure-induced neuronal injury. Focal-onset status epilepticus in mice upregulated TNFR1 levels and led to formation of TNFR1-TNFR-associated death domain (TRADD) and TRADD-Fas-associated death domain (FADD) binding. Seizure-like injury modeled in vitro by removal of chronic excitatory blockade in mouse hippocampal neurons also activated this TNFR1 signaling pathway. Prior exposure of hippocampal neurons to a non-harmful seizure episode, via NMDA receptor blockade, 24 h prior to injurious seizures significantly reduced cell death and modeled epileptic tolerance in vitro. TNFR1 complex formation with TRADD and TRADD-FADD binding were reduced in tolerant cells. Finally, TNFR1 signaling and cell death were reduced by PKF-242-484, a dual matrix metaloproteinase/TNFα converting enzyme inhibitor. The present study shows that TNFR1 signaling is activated in mouse seizure models and may contribute to neuropathology in vitro and in vivo while suppression of this pathway may underlie neuroprotection in epileptic tolerance.
Seizure; epileptic tolerance; preconditioning; TACE; PKF242-484; cell death; neuroprotection; TNF
The regulatory cytokine tumor necrosis factor (TNF) exerts its effects through two receptors: TNFR1 and TNFR2. Defects in TNFR2 signaling are evident in a variety of autoimmune diseases. One new treatment strategy for autoimmune disease is selective destruction of autoreactive T cells by administration of TNF, TNF inducers, or TNFR2 agonism. A related strategy is to rely on TNFR2 agonism to induce T-regulatory cells (Tregs) that suppress cytotoxic T cells. Targeting TNFR2 as a treatment strategy is likely superior to TNFR1 because of its more limited cellular distribution on T cells, subsets of neurons, and a few other cell types, whereas TNFR1 is expressed throughout the body. This review focuses on TNFR2 expression, structure, and signaling; TNFR2 signaling in autoimmune disease; treatment strategies targeting TNFR2 in autoimmunity; and the potential for TNFR2 to facilitate end organ regeneration.
TNF; TNF receptor 2; autoimmune disease; type 1 diabetes; regeneration
Tumor necrosis factor receptor 1 (TNFR1) is a membrane receptor able to bind TNF-α or TNF-β. TNFR1 can suppress apoptosis by activating the NF-κB or JNK/SAPK signal transduction pathway, or it can induce apoptosis through a series of caspase cascade reactions; the particular effect may depend on the cell line. In the present study, we first showed that TNFR1 is expressed at both the gene and protein levels in the esophageal carcinoma cell line EC109. Then, by applying a specific siRNA, we silenced the expression of TNFR1; this resulted in a significant time-dependent promotion of cell proliferation and downregulation of the apoptotic rate. These results suggest that TNFR1 is strongly expressed in the EC109 cell line and that it may play an apoptosis-mediating role, which may be suppressed by highly activated NF-κB.
Using mice double deficient for tumor necrosis factor (TNF) and lymphotoxin alpha (LT alpha), we demonstrated that TNF and/or LT alpha are necessary for development of a normal splenic microarchitecture and for isotype switch after immunization with sheep red blood cells (SRBC). In the present study, we extended these observations by determining which TNF receptor (TNFR) is involved in morphological and functional differentiation of the spleen. Spleen morphology and antibody response were investigated in wild-type, TNFR1-/-, TNFR2-/- and TNF/LT alpha-/- mice immunized with SRBC. TNF/LT alpha-/- mice, which have a complete disruption of the TNF/LT alpha signaling system including the LT beta-receptor pathway, displayed an abnormal microarchitecture, and isotype switch did not take place. TNFR1-/- and TNFR2-/- mice displayed a normal spleen microarchitecture and mounted an IgM and IgG antibody response to SRBC. However, the IgG production in TNFR1-/- mice was minimal, with citers leveling off 6 d after immunization. In this strain, immunofluorescence revealed a lack of follicular dendritic cells (FDC) network, detected with FDC-M1 as well as anti-CR1, and a lack of germinal centers, detected with peanut agglutinin. In conclusion, whereas normal splenic microarchitecture and isotype switch might require the LT beta receptor, differentiation of FDC network, development of germinal centers, and full IgG response depend on signaling via TNFR1.
The family of tumor necrosis factor receptors (TNFRs) and their ligands form a regulatory signaling network that controls immune responses. Various members of this receptor family respond differently to the soluble and membrane-bound forms of their respective ligands. However, the determining factors and underlying molecular mechanisms of this diversity are not yet understood. Using an established system of chimeric TNFRs and novel ligand variants mimicking the bioactivity of membrane-bound TNF (mTNF), we demonstrate that the membrane-proximal extracellular stalk regions of TNFR1 and TNFR2 are crucial in controlling responsiveness to soluble TNF (sTNF). We show that the stalk region of TNFR2, in contrast to the corresponding part of TNFR1, efficiently inhibits both the receptor's enrichment/clustering in particular cell membrane regions and ligand-independent homotypic receptor preassembly, thereby preventing sTNF-induced, but not mTNF-induced, signaling. Thus, the stalk regions of the two TNFRs not only have implications for additional TNFR family members, but also provide potential targets for therapeutic intervention.
Cellular apoptosis, the prototype of programmed cell death, can be induced by activation of so-called death receptors. Interestingly, soluble and membrane-bound members of death receptor ligands can differentially activate their receptors. Using the death receptor ligand tumor necrosis factor (TNF) presented on a surface in a nanoscaled pattern with spacings between 58 and 290 nm, we investigated its requirements for spatial arrangement and motility to efficiently activate TNF receptor (TNFR)1 and TNFR2 as well as its chimeras TNFR1-Fas and TNFR2-Fas. We show that the mere mechanical fixation of TNF is insufficient to efficiently activate TNFR2 that is responsive to only the membrane bound form of TNF but not its soluble form. Rather, an additional stabilization of TNFR2(-Fas) by cluster formation seems to be mandatory for efficient activation. In contrast, TNFR1(-Fas) is strongly activated by TNF spaced within up to 200 nm distances, whereas larger spacings of 290 nm fails completely. Furthermore, unlike for TNFR2(-Fas) no dose-response relationship to increasing distances of nanostructured ligands could be observed for TNFR1-(Fas), suggesting that compartmentalization of the cell membrane in confinement zones of approximately 200 nm regulates TNFR1 activation.
Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) plays a dual role in neurodegenerative diseases. Whereas TNF receptor (TNFR) 1 is predominantly associated with neurodegeneration, TNFR2 is involved in tissue regeneration and neuroprotection. Accordingly, the availability of TNFR2-selective agonists could allow the development of new therapeutic treatments of neurodegenerative diseases. We constructed a soluble, human TNFR2 agonist (TNC-scTNFR2) by genetic fusion of the trimerization domain of tenascin C to a TNFR2-selective single-chain TNF molecule, which is comprised of three TNF domains connected by short peptide linkers. TNC-scTNFR2 specifically activated TNFR2 and possessed membrane-TNF mimetic activity, resulting in TNFR2 signaling complex formation and activation of downstream signaling pathways. Protection from neurodegeneration was assessed using the human dopaminergic neuronal cell line LUHMES. First we show that TNC-scTNFR2 interfered with cell death pathways subsequent to H2O2 exposure. Protection from cell death was dependent on TNFR2 activation of the PI3K-PKB/Akt pathway, evident from restoration of H2O2 sensitivity in the presence of PI3K inhibitor LY294002. Second, in an in vitro model of Parkinson disease, TNC-scTNFR2 rescues neurons after induction of cell death by 6-OHDA. Since TNFR2 is not only promoting anti-apoptotic responses but also plays an important role in tissue regeneration, activation of TNFR2 signaling by TNC-scTNFR2 appears a promising strategy to ameliorate neurodegenerative processes.
Tumor necrosis factor superfamily ligands and receptors are responsible for development, immunity, and homeostasis of metazoan organisms. Thus, it is not surprising that signals emanating from these receptors are tightly regulated. Binding of TNF-related weak inducer of apoptosis (TWEAK) to its cognate receptor, FN14, triggers the assembly of receptor-associated signaling complex, which allows the activation of canonical and non-canonical nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) as well as mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling pathways. Ubiquitin ligases cellular inhibitor of apoptosis 1 and 2 (c-IAP1 and 2) and adaptor proteins TNFR-associated factors 2 and 3 (TRAF2 and TRAF3) are crucial for the regulation of TWEAK signaling as they facilitate the recruitment of distal signaling components including IKK and linear ubiquitin chain assembly complex complexes. At the same time c-IAP1/2, together with TRAF2 and TRAF3, promote constitutive ubiquitination and proteasomal degradation of NF-κB inducing kinase (NIK) – a kinase with critical role in the activation of non-canonical NF-κB signaling. While c-IAP1/2 mediated ubiquitination allows the activation of TWEAK-stimulated canonical NF-κB signaling, these E3 ligases are negative regulators of non-canonical signaling. TWEAK stimulation prompts the recruitment of c-IAP1/2 as well as TRAF2 and TRAF3 to the FN14 signaling complex leading to c-IAP1/2 autoubiquitination and degradation, which stabilizes NIK and allows subsequent phosphorylation of IKKα and partial proteasomal processing of p100 to activate gene expression. Recent studies have revealed that the spatio-temporal pattern of TWEAK-stimulated ubiquitination is a carefully orchestrated process involving several substrates that are modified by different ubiquitin linkages. Understanding the significance of ubiquitination for TWEAK signaling is important for the overall understanding of TWEAK biology and for the design of therapeutics that can be used in the treatment of human pathologies that are driven by TWEAK/FN14 expression and activity.
TWEAK; ubiquitin; NF-κB; IAP; c-IAP1; TRAF2; TRAF3; NIK
Tumor necrosis factor (TNF), an important mediator of inflammatory and innate immune responses, can be regulated by binding to soluble TNF receptors. The type 1, 55-kDa TNF receptor (TNFR1), the key receptor for TNF signaling, is released to the extracellular space by two mechanisms, the inducible cleavage and shedding of 34-kDa soluble TNFR1 ectodomains (sTNFR1) and the constitutive release of full-length 55-kDa TNFR1 within exosome-like vesicles. The aim of this study was to identify and characterize Toll-like receptor (TLR) signaling pathways that mediate TNFR1 release to the extracellular space. We for the first time demonstrate that poly (I:C), a synthetic double-strand RNA (dsRNA) analog that signals via TLR3, induces sTNFR1 shedding from human airway epithelial (NCI-H292) cells, whereas ligands for other microbial pattern recognition receptors, including TLR4, TLR7 and NOD2, do not. Furthermore, poly (I:C) selectively induces the cleavage of 34-kDa soluble TNFR1 ectodomains, but does not enhance the release of full-length 55-kDa TNFR1 within exosome-like vesicles. RNA interference experiments demonstrated that poly (I:C)-induced sTNFR1 shedding is mediated via activation of TLR3-TRIF-RIP1 signaling, with subsequent activation of two downstream pathways. One pathway involves the Duox2-mediated generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), while the other pathway is via the caspase-mediated activation of apoptosis. Thus, the ability of dsRNA to induce the cleavage and shedding of the 34-kDa sTNFR1 from human bronchial epithelial cells represents a novel mechanism by which innate immune responses to viral infections are modulated.
poly (I:C); TNFR1 shedding; TLR3; TRIF; RIP1; caspase; Duox; ROS; signal transduction
Tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α) is a proinflammatory cytokine. Its pleiotropic biological properties are signaled through two distinct cell surface receptors: the TNF receptor type I (TNFR-I) and the TNF receptor type II. Neither of the two receptors possesses tyrosine kinase activity. A large majority of TNF-α–dependent activities can be mediated by TNFR-I. Recently, c-Raf-1 kinase was identified as an intracellular target of a signal transduction cascade initiated by binding of TNF-α to TNFR-I. However, the mechanism engaged in TNF-α–dependent activation of c-Raf-1 kinase is still enigmatic.
Here we report that the cytosolic adapter protein Grb2 is a novel binding partner of TNFR-I. Grb2 binds with its COOH-terminal SH3 domain to a PLAP motif within TNFR-I and with its NH2-terminal SH3 domain to SOS (son of sevenless). A PLAP deletion mutant of TNFR-I fails to bind Grb2. The TNFR-I/Grb2 interaction is essential for the TNF-α–dependent activation of c-Raf-1 kinase; activation of c-Raf-1 kinase by TNF-α can be blocked by coexpression of Grb2 mutants harboring inactivating point mutations in the NH2- or COOH-terminal SH3 domain, cell-permeable peptides that disrupt the Grb2/TNFR-I interaction or transdominant negative Ras. Functionality of the TNFR-I/Grb2/SOS/Ras interaction is a prerequisite but not sufficient for TNF-α–dependent activation of c-Raf-1 kinase. Inhibition of the TNFR-I/FAN (factor associated with neutral sphingomyelinase) interaction, which is essential for TNF-α–dependent activation of the neutral sphingomyelinase, either by cell-permeable peptides or by deletion of the FAN binding domain, prevents activation of c-Raf-1 kinase. In conclusion, binding of the Grb2 adapter protein via its COOH-terminal SH3 domain to the nontyrosine kinase receptor TNFR-I results in activation of a signaling cascade known so far to be initiated, in the case of the tyrosine kinase receptors, by binding of the SH2 domain of Grb2 to phosphotyrosine.
Grb2; tumor necrosis factor; signal transduction; cell-permeable peptides; yeast two-hybrid system
Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) signals through TNFR1 and TNFR2, two membrane receptors, and TNFR1 is known to be the major pathogenic mediator of chronic and acute inflammatory diseases. Present clinical intervention is based on neutralization of the ligand TNF. Selective inhibition of TNF receptor 1 (TNFR1) provides an alternative opportunity to neutralize the pro-inflammatory activity of TNF while maintaining the advantageous immunological responses mediated by TNFR2, including immune regulation, tissue homeostasis and neuroprotection. We recently humanized a mouse anti-human TNFR1 monoclonal antibody exhibiting TNFR1-neutralizing activity. This humanized antibody has been converted into an IgG1 molecule (ATROSAB) containing a modified Fc region previously demonstrated to have greatly reduced effector functions. Purified ATROSAB produced in CHO cells showed strong binding to human and rhesus TNFR1-Fc fusion protein and mouse embryonic fibroblasts transfected with a recombinant TNFR1 fusion protein with an affinity identical to the parental mouse antibody H398. Using chimeric human/mouse TNFR1 molecules, the epitope of ATROSAB was mapped to the N-terminal region (amino acid residues 1–70) comprising the first cysteine-rich domain (CRD1) and the A1 sub-domain of CRD2. In vitro, ATROSAB inhibited typical TNF-mediated responses like apoptosis induction and activation of NFκB-dependent gene expression such as IL-6 and IL-8 production. These findings open the way to further analyze the therapeutic activity of ATROSAB in relevant disease models in non-human primates.
humanized IgG; antagonistic antibody; tumor necrosis factor receptor 1; epitope mapping
Activated tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) receptor 1 (TNFR1) recruits TNFR1-associated death domain protein (TRADD), which in turn triggers two opposite signaling pathways leading to caspase activation for apoptosis induction and NF-κB activation for antiapoptosis gene upregulation. Here we show that Stat1 is involved in the TNFR1-TRADD signaling complex, as determined by employing a novel antibody array screening method. In HeLa cells, Stat1 was associated with TNFR1 and this association was increased with TNF-α treatment. TNFR1 signaling factors TRADD and Fas-associated death domain protein (FADD) were also found to interact with Stat1 in a TNF-α-dependent process. Our in vitro recombinant protein-protein interaction studies demonstrated that Stat1 could directly interact with TNFR1 and TRADD but not with FADD. Interaction between Stat1 and receptor-interacting protein (RIP) or TNFR-associated factor 2 (TRAF2) was not detected. Examination of Stat1-deficient cells showed an apparent increase in TNF-α-induced TRADD-RIP and TRADD-TRAF2 complex formation, while interaction between TRADD and FADD was unaffected. As a consequence, TNF-α-mediated I-κB degradation and NF-κB activation were markedly enhanced in Stat1-deficient cells, whereas overexpression of Stat1 in 293T cells blocked NF-κB activation by TNF-α. Thus, Stat1 acts as a TNFR1-signaling molecule to suppress NF-κB activation.
The proinflammtory cytokine tumor necrosis factor (TNF), primarily via TNF receptor 1 (TNFR1), induces NF-κB-dependent cell survival, and JNK and caspase-dependent cell death, regulating vascular endothelial cell (EC) activation and apoptosis. However, signaling by the second receptor, TNFR2, is poorly understood. The goal of this study is to dissect how TNFR2 mediates NF-κB and JNK signaling in vascular endothelial cells (EC), and its relevance with in vivo EC function.
Methods and Results
We show that TNFR2 contributes to TNF-induced NF-κB and JNK signaling in EC as TNFR2 deletion or knockdown reduces the TNF responses. To dissect out the critical domains of TNFR2 that mediate the TNF responses, we examine the activity of TNFR2 mutant with a specific deletion of the TNFR2 intracellular region, which contains conserved domain I, domain II, domain III, and two TRAF2-binding sites. Deletion analyses indicate that different sequences on TNFR2 have distinct roles in NF-κB and JNK activation. Specifically, deletion of the TRAF2-binding sites (TNFR2-59) diminishes the TNFR2-mediated NF-κB, but not JNK activation; whereas, deletion of domain II or domain III blunts TNFR2-mediated JNK but not NF-κB activation. Interestingly, we find that the TRAF2-binding sites ensure TNFR2 on the plasma membrane, but the di-leucine LL motif within the domain II and aa338-355 within the domain III are required for TNFR2 internalization as well as TNFR2-dependent JNK signaling. Moreover, domain III of TNFR2 is responsible for association with AIP1, a signaling adaptor critical for TNF-induced JNK signaling. While TNFR2 containing the TRAF2-binding sites prevents EC cell death, a specific activation of JNK without NF-κB activation by TNFR2-59 strongly induces caspase activation and EC apoptosis.
Our data reveal that both internalization and AIP1 association are required for TNFR2-dependent JNK and apoptotic signaling. Controlling TNFR2-mediated JNK and apoptotic signaling in EC may provide a novel strategy for the treatment of vascular diseases.
TNF; TNFR2; JNK; endothelial cell; apoptosis
Tumor necrosis factor α (TNF) is a pleiotropic proinflammatory cytokine that plays a role in immunity and the control of cell proliferation, cell differentiation, and apoptosis. The pleiotropic nature of TNF is due to the formation of different signaling complexes upon the binding of TNF to its receptor, TNF receptor type 1 (TNFR1). TNF induces apoptosis in various mammalian cells when the cells are co-treated with a transcription inhibitor like actinomycin D (ActD). When TNFR1 is activated, it recruits an adaptor protein, TNF receptor-associated protein with death domain (TRADD), through its cytoplasmic death effector domain (DED). TRADD, in turn, recruits other signaling proteins, including TNF receptor-associated protein 2 (TRAF2) and receptor-associated protein kinase (RIPK) 1, to form a complex. Subsequently, this complex combines with FADD and procaspase-8, converts into a death-inducing signaling complex (DISC) to induce apoptosis. Cyclic AMP (cAMP) is a second messenger that regulates various cellular processes such as cell proliferation, gene expression, and apoptosis. cAMP analogues are reported to act as anti-apoptotic agents in various cell types, including hepatocytes. We found that a cAMP analogue, dibutyryl cAMP (db-cAMP), inhibits TNF + ActD-induced apoptosis in rat hepatocytes. The protein kinase A (PKA) inhibitor KT-5720 reverses this inhibitory effect of cAMP on apoptosis. Cytoprotection by cAMP involves down-regulation of various apoptotic signal regulators like TRADD and FADD and inhibition of caspase-8 and caspase-3 cleavage. We also found that cAMP exerts its affect at the proximal level of TNF signaling by inhibiting the formation of the DISC complex upon the binding of TNF to TNFR1. In conclusion, our study shows that cAMP prevents TNF + ActD-induced apoptosis in rat hepatocytes by inhibiting DISC complex formation.
Hepatocytes; TNF; db-cAMP; Apoptosis; DISC complex
Signaling from tumor necrosis factor receptor type 1 (TNFR1) can elicit potent inflammatory and cytotoxic responses that need to be properly regulated. It was suggested that the silencer of death domains (SODD) protein constitutively associates intracellularly with TNFR1 and inhibits the recruitment of cytoplasmic signaling proteins to TNFR1 to prevent spontaneous aggregation of the cytoplasmic death domains of TNFR1 molecules that are juxtaposed in the absence of ligand stimulation. In this study, we demonstrate that mice lacking SODD produce larger amounts of cytokines in response to in vivo TNF challenge. SODD-deficient macrophages and embryonic fibroblasts also show altered responses to TNF. TNF-induced activation of NF-κB is accelerated in SODD-deficient cells, but TNF-induced c-Jun N-terminal kinase activity is slightly repressed. Interestingly, the apoptotic arm of TNF signaling is not hyperresponsive in the SODD-deficient cells. Together, these results suggest that SODD is critical for the regulation of TNF signaling.
CD40, a tumor necrosis factor (TNF) receptor (TNFR) family member, conveys signals regulating diverse cellular responses, ranging from proliferation and differentiation to growth suppression and cell death. The ability of CD40 to mediate apoptosis in carcinoma cells is intriguing given the fact that the CD40 cytoplasmic C terminus lacks a death domain homology with the cytotoxic members of the TNFR superfamily, such as Fas, TNFR1, and TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) receptors. In this study, we have probed the mechanism by which CD40 transduces death signals. Using a trimeric recombinant soluble CD40 ligand to activate CD40, we have found that this phenomenon critically depends on the membrane proximal domain (amino acids 216 to 239) but not the TNFR-associated factor-interacting PXQXT motif in the CD40 cytoplasmic tail. CD40-mediated cytotoxicity is blocked by caspase inhibitors, such as zVAD-fmk and crmA, and involves activation of caspase 8 and caspase 3. Interestingly, CD40 ligation was found to induce functional Fas ligand, TRAIL (Apo-2L) and TNF in apoptosis-susceptible carcinoma cells and to up-regulate expression of Fas. These findings identify a novel proapoptotic mechanism which is induced by CD40 in carcinoma cells and depends on the endogenous production of cytotoxic cytokines and autocrine or paracrine induction of cell death.
Both nuclear factor (NF)-κB–inducing kinase (NIK) and inhibitor of κB (IκB) kinase (IKK) have been implicated as essential components for NF-κB activation in response to many external stimuli. However, the exact roles of NIK and IKKα in cytokine signaling still remain controversial. With the use of in vivo mouse models, rather than with enforced gene-expression systems, we have investigated the role of NIK and IKKα in signaling through the type I tumor necrosis factor (TNF) receptor (TNFR-I) and the lymphotoxin β receptor (LTβR), a receptor essential for lymphoid organogenesis. TNF stimulation induced similar levels of phosphorylation and degradation of IκBα in embryonic fibroblasts from either wild-type or NIK-mutant mice. In contrast, LTβR stimulation induced NF-κB activation in wild-type mice, but the response was impaired in embryonic fibroblasts from NIK-mutant and IKKα-deficient mice. Consistent with the essential role of IKKα in LTβR signaling, we found that development of Peyer's patches was defective in IKKα-deficient mice. These results demonstrate that both NIK and IKKα are essential for the induction of NF-κB through LTβR, whereas the NIK–IKKα pathway is dispensable in TNFR-I signaling.
alymphoplasia; cytokine signaling; IκB; Akt kinase; Peyer's patch
The immune system targets virus-infected cells by different means. One of the essential antiviral mechanisms is apoptosis induced by ligation of tumor necrosis factor receptor 1 (TNFR1). This receptor can be activated by tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), which upon binding to TNFR1 induces the assembly of first an inflammatory and later a proapoptotic signaling complex. Here, we report that infection by human herpesvirus 6B (HHV-6B) inhibited poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) cleavage, caspase 3 and 8 activation, and IκBα Ser-32 phosphorylation downstream of TNFR1, indicating inhibition of both the inflammatory and apoptotic signaling pathways. We identified a hitherto uncharacterized viral protein, U20, as sufficient for mediating this inhibition. U20 was shown to locate to the cell membrane, and overexpression inhibited PARP cleavage, caspase 3 and 8 activation, IκBα Ser-32 phosphorylation, and NF-κB transcriptional activity. Moreover, small interfering RNA (siRNA) knockdown of U20 demonstrated that the protein is necessary for HHV-6B-mediated inhibition of TNFR signaling during infection. These results suggest an important novel function of U20 as a viral immune evasion protein during HHV-6B infection.