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J Exp Med. 2010 Dec 20;207(13):2959-73. doi: 10.1084/jem.20092641. Epub 2010 Nov 29.

MCP-induced protein 1 deubiquitinates TRAF proteins and negatively regulates JNK and NF-kappaB signaling.

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  • 1Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL 32816, USA.


The intensity and duration of macrophage-mediated inflammatory responses are controlled by proteins that modulate inflammatory signaling pathways. MCPIP1 (monocyte chemotactic protein-induced protein 1), a recently identified CCCH Zn finger-containing protein, plays an essential role in controlling macrophage-mediated inflammatory responses. However, its mechanism of action is poorly understood. In this study, we show that MCPIP1 negatively regulates c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) and NF-κB activity by removing ubiquitin moieties from proteins, including TRAF2, TRAF3, and TRAF6. MCPIP1-deficient mice spontaneously developed fatal inflammatory syndrome. Macrophages and splenocytes from MCPIP1(-/-) mice showed elevated expression of inflammatory gene expression, increased JNK and IκB kinase activation, and increased polyubiquitination of TNF receptor-associated factors. In vitro assays directly demonstrated the deubiquitinating activity of purified MCPIP1. Sequence analysis together with serial mutagenesis defined a deubiquitinating enzyme domain and a ubiquitin association domain in MCPIP1. Our results indicate that MCPIP1 is a critical modulator of inflammatory signaling.

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