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J Biol Chem. 2000 Feb 18;275(7):4670-8.

Identification of two major sites in the type I interleukin-1 receptor cytoplasmic region responsible for coupling to pro-inflammatory signaling pathways.

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  • 1The Immunex R&D Corporation, Seattle, Washington 98101, USA.


Type I interleukin-1 receptor is the prototype for a family of proteins, which play a central role in early responses to injury and infection. The similarity of function across the family is reflected in similarity in signaling: all members tested couple to activation of NFkappaB and stress kinases. The coupling to these pathways is mediated by a 200-residue intracellular domain (the Toll/interleukin-1 receptor domain), in which sequence conservation is primarily confined to three short motifs (boxes 1, 2, and 3) located at amino acid residue positions 10 (box 1), 60 (box 2), and 170 (box 3). We have analyzed the contribution of these motifs to function by alanine scanning mutagenesis of the human interleukin-1 receptor type I. Mutant receptors were tested for expression, ligand binding, activation of receptor-associated kinase(s), NFkappaB, stress kinases, and transcription. Mutations in all three motifs led to low cell surface expression. Mutants in box 3 were, however, wild type for signaling, whereas mutants in boxes 1 and 2 were defective. We conclude that the conserved motifs box 1 and box 2 mediate the coupling of molecules in the family to inflammation signaling pathways.

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