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Biochem J. 2004 Mar 15; 378(Pt 3): 1089–1094.
PMCID: PMC1224034

Calcium-dependent regulation of tumour necrosis factor-alpha receptor signalling by copine.


The role of copines in regulating signalling from the TNF-alpha (tumour necrosis factor-alpha) receptor was probed by the expression of a copine dominant-negative construct in HEK293 (human embryonic kidney 293) cells. The construct was found to reduce activation of the transcription factor NF-kappaB (nuclear factor-kappaB) by TNF-alpha. The introduction of calcium into HEK293 cells either through the activation of muscarinic cholinergic receptors or through the application of the ionophore A23187 was found to enhance TNF-alpha-dependent activation of NF-kappaB. This effect of calcium was completely blocked by the copine dominant-negative construct. TNF-alpha was found to greatly enhance the expression of endogenous copine I, and the responsiveness of the TNF-alpha signalling pathway to muscarinic stimulation increased in parallel with the increased copine I expression. The copine dominant-negative construct also inhibited the TNF-alpha-dependent degradation of IkappaB, a regulator of NF-kappaB. All of the effects of the dominant-negative construct could be reversed by overexpression of full-length copine I, suggesting that the construct acts specifically through competitive inhibition of copine. One of the identified targets of copine I is the NEDD8-conjugating enzyme UBC12 (ubiquitin C12), that promotes the degradation of IkappaB through the ubiquitin ligase enzyme complex SCF(betaTrCP). Therefore the copine dominant-negative construct might inhibit TNF-alpha signalling by dysregulation or mislocalization of UBC12. Based on these results, a hypothesis is presented for possible roles of copines in regulating other signalling pathways in animals, plants and protozoa.

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Selected References

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