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Mol Cell Biol. 2009 Oct;29(20):5529-39. doi: 10.1128/MCB.00375-09. Epub 2009 Aug 17.

TAK1-mediated serine/threonine phosphorylation of epidermal growth factor receptor via p38/extracellular signal-regulated kinase: NF-{kappa}B-independent survival pathways in tumor necrosis factor alpha signaling.

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  • 1Division of Pathogenic Biochemistry, Institute of Natural Medicine, University of Toyama, 2630 Sugitani, Toyama 930-0194, Japan.


The kinase TAK1, a mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase kinase (MAP3K), has been widely accepted as a key kinase activating NF-kappaB and MAPKs in tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) signaling. We have recently reported that TAK1 regulates the transient phosphorylation and endocytosis of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) in a tyrosine kinase activity-independent manner. In the present study, we found that Thr-669 in the juxtamembrane domain and Ser-1046/1047 in the carboxyl-terminal regulatory domain were transiently phosphorylated in response to TNF-alpha. Experiments using chemical inhibitors and small interfering RNA demonstrated that TNF-alpha-mediated phosphorylation of Thr-669 and Ser-1046/7 were differently regulated via TAK1-extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) and TAK1-p38 pathways, respectively. In addition, p38, but not ERK, was involved in the endocytosis of EGFR. Surprisingly, modified EGFR was essential to prevent apoptotic cellular responses; however, the EGFR pathway was independent of the NF-kappaB antiapoptotic pathway. These results demonstrated that TAK1 controls two different signaling pathways, IkappaB kinase-NF-kappaB and MAPK-EGFR, leading to the survival of cells exposed to the death signal from the TNF-alpha receptor.

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