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Immunity. 1999 Dec;11(6):721-31.

JNK2 and IKKbeta are required for activating the innate response to viral infection.

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Department of Pharmacology, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla 92093-0636, USA.


Viral infection or double-stranded (ds) RNA induce interferons (IFN) and other cytokines. Transcription factors mediating IFN induction are known, but the signaling pathways that regulate them are less clear. We now describe two such pathways. The first pathway leading to NF-kappaB depends on the dsRNA-responsive protein kinase (PKR), which in turn activates IKB kinase (IKK) through the IKKbeta subunit. The second viral-and dsRNA-responsive pathway is PKR independent and involves Jun kinase (JNK) activation leading to stimulation of AP-1. Both IKKbeta and JNK2 are essential for efficient induction of type I IFN and other cytokines in response to viral infection or dsRNA. This study establishes a general role for these kinases in activation of innate immune responses.

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