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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010 Oct 19;107(42):18103-8. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1011752107. Epub 2010 Oct 5.

Epstein-Barr latent membrane protein 1 transformation site 2 activates NF-kappaB in the absence of NF-kappaB essential modifier residues 133-224 or 373-419.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


Epstein Barr virus latent membrane protein 1 (LMP1) induces NF-κB activation through transformation effector sites (TES) 1 and 2, both of which are critical for B-lymphocyte transformation. TES2 principally activates canonical NF-κB, which we confirm is NF-κB essential modifier (NEMO)-dependent and requires an intact ubiquitin binding in A20 binding inhibitor of NF-κB and NEMO (UBAN) domain. LMP1 TES2 activated NF-κB in Jurkat cell lines harboring NEMO truncated at 372 (A45) or NEMO with an in-frame deletion of 133-224 (2C), whereas TNFα, 12-O-Tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate, human T-cell leukemia virus 1 Tax, and CD40 did not. In both A45 and 2C Jurkat cell lines, LMP1 TES2-mediated NF-κB activation was blocked by siRNAs to TNFα receptor-associated factor 6 and NEMO, by IκB kinase inhibitors, and by the IκBα superrepressor, indicating that the NEMO mutants function to support canonical NF-κB activation. Expression of A45 or 2C mutants in NEMO-deficient murine embryonic fibroblasts reproduced the Jurkat phenotypes: LMP1 TES2 activated NF-κB in fibroblasts lacking NEMO amino acids 133-224 or 373-419, but TNFα and Tax did not. Further analysis indicated that TES2 did not activate NF-κB in cells expressing the double deletion mutant Δ133-224/Δ372-419. These data provide further evidence of the essential role for NEMO in LMP1 TES2 NF-κB activation and highlight the importance of unique domains within NEMO for sensing distinct NF-κB stimuli.

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