IkB kinase 2 regulates TPL-2 activation of ERK-1/2 MAP kinases by direct phosphorylation of TPL-2 serine 400

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Tumor progression locus 2 (TPL-2) functions as a MEK-1/2 kinase, which is essential for Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1 and 2 (ERK-1/2) mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinases in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated macrophages and for inducing the production of the proinflammatory cytokines tumor necrosis factor and interleukin-1β. In unstimulated cells, association of TPL-2 with NF-κB1 p105 prevents TPL-2 phosphorylation of MEK-1/2. LPS stimulation of TPL-2 MEK-1/2 kinase activity requires TPL-2 release from p105. This is triggered by IκB kinase 2 (IKK-2) phosphorylation of the p105 PEST region, which promotes p105 ubiquitination and degradation by the proteasome. LPS activation of ERK-1/2 additionally requires transphosphorylation of TPL-2 on serine 400 in its C terminus, which controls TPL-2 signaling to ERK-1/2 independently of p105. However, the identity of the protein kinase responsible for TPL-2 serine 400 phosphorylation remained unknown. In the present study, we show that TPL-2 serine 400 phosphorylation is mediated by IKK2. The IKK complex therefore regulates two of the key regulatory steps required for TPL-2 activation of ERK-1/2, underlining the close linkage of ERK-1/2 MAP kinase activation to upregulation of NF-κB-dependent transcription.

Journal details

Volume 32
Issue number 22
Pages 4684-4690
Publication date