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Nat Immunol. 2007 Jun;8(6):619-29. Epub 2007 May 7.

The adaptor protein CARD9 is essential for the activation of myeloid cells through ITAM-associated and Toll-like receptors.

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  • 1Laboratory for Cell Signaling, RIKEN Research Center for Allergy and Immunology, Yokohama, Kanagawa 230-0045, Japan.


Immunoreceptor tyrosine-based activation motifs (ITAMs) are crucial in antigen receptor signaling in acquired immunity. Although receptors associated with the ITAM-bearing adaptors FcRgamma and DAP12 on myeloid cells have been suggested to activate innate immune responses, the mechanism coupling those receptors to 'downstream' signaling events is unclear. The CARMA1-Bcl-10-MALT1 complex is critical for the activation of transcription factor NF-kappaB in lymphocytes but has an unclear function in myeloid cells. Here we report that deletion of the gene encoding the Bcl-10 adaptor-binding partner CARD9 resulted in impaired myeloid cell activation of NF-kappaB signaling by several ITAM-associated receptors. Moreover, CARD9 was required for Toll-like receptor-induced activation of dendritic cells through the activation of mitogen-activated protein kinases. Although Bcl10-/- and Card9-/- mice had similar signaling impairment in myeloid cells, Card11-/- (CARMA1-deficient) myeloid cell responses were normal, and although Card11-/- lymphocytes were defective in antigen receptor-mediated activation, Card9-/- lymphocytes were not. Thus, the activation of lymphoid and myeloid cells through ITAM-associated receptors or Toll-like receptors is regulated by CARMA1-Bcl-10 and CARD9-Bcl-10, respectively.

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