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J Biol Chem. 2000 Jul 28;275(30):23340-5.

Characterization of interleukin-1 receptor-associated kinase in normal and endotoxin-tolerant cells.

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  • 1Section of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina 27157, USA.


Interleukin-1 receptor-associated kinase (IRAK), a signal transducer for interleukin-1, has also been suggested to participate in the Toll-like receptor-mediated innate immune response to bacterial endotoxin lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Using the human promonocytic THP-1 cell line, we demonstrated that the endogenous IRAK is quickly activated in response to bacterial LPS stimulation, as measured by its in vitro kinase activity toward myelin basic protein. LPS also triggers the association of IRAK with MyD88, the adaptor protein linking IRAK to the Toll-like receptor/interleukin-1beta receptor intracellular domain. Macrophage cells with prolonged LPS treatment become tolerant to additional dose of LPS and no longer express inflammatory cytokines. Endotoxin tolerance is a common phenomenon observed in blood from sepsis patients. We observed for the first time that the quantity of IRAK is greatly reduced in LPS-tolerant THP-1 cells, and its activity no longer responds to further LPS challenge. In addition, IRAK does not associate with MyD88 in the tolerant cells. Furthermore, application of AG126, a putative tyrosine kinase inhibitor, can substantially alleviate the LPS-induced cytokine gene expression and can also decrease IRAK level and activity. Our study indicates that IRAK is essential for LPS-mediated signaling and that cells may develop endotoxin tolerance by down-regulating IRAK.

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