Research ArticleIMMUNOLOGY

Inositol polyphosphate multikinase promotes Toll-like receptor–induced inflammation by stabilizing TRAF6

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Science Advances  21 Apr 2017:
Vol. 3, no. 4, e1602296
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1602296


Toll-like receptor (TLR) signaling is tightly controlled to protect hosts from microorganisms while simultaneously preventing uncontrolled immune responses. Tumor necrosis factor receptor–associated factor 6 (TRAF6) is a critical mediator of TLR signaling, but the precise mechanism of how TRAF6 protein stability is strictly controlled still remains obscure. We show that myeloid-specific deletion of inositol polyphosphate multikinase (IPMK), which has both inositol polyphosphate kinase activities and noncatalytic signaling functions, protects mice against polymicrobial sepsis and lipopolysaccharide-induced systemic inflammation. IPMK depletion in macrophages results in decreased levels of TRAF6 protein, thereby dampening TLR-induced signaling and proinflammatory cytokine production. Mechanistically, the regulatory role of IPMK is independent of its catalytic function, instead reflecting its direct binding to TRAF6. This interaction stabilizes TRAF6 by blocking its K48-linked ubiquitination and subsequent degradation by the proteasome. Thus, these findings identify IPMK as a key determinant of TRAF6 stability and elucidate the physiological function of IPMK in TLR-induced innate immunity.

  • Innate immunity
  • sepsis
  • Toll-like receptor
  • inositol polyphosphate multikinase
  • TRAF6
  • ubiquitination

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