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J Biol Chem. 2003 May 9;278(19):16713-9. Epub 2003 Feb 27.

Poly(I-C)-induced Toll-like receptor 3 (TLR3)-mediated activation of NFkappa B and MAP kinase is through an interleukin-1 receptor-associated kinase (IRAK)-independent pathway employing the signaling components TLR3-TRAF6-TAK1-TAB2-PKR .

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  • 1Department of Immunology, Lerner Research Institute, The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, Ohio 44195, USA.

Erratum in

  • J Biol Chem. 2003 Jun 20;278(5):23212.


Recent studies show that a member of the interleukin-1 (IL-1)/Toll receptor superfamily, Toll-like receptor 3 (TLR3), recognizes double-stranded RNA (dsRNA). Because of the similarity in their cytoplasmic domains, IL-1/Toll receptors share signaling components that associate with the IL-1 receptor, including IL-1 receptor-associated kinase (IRAK), MyD88, and TRAF6. However, we find that, in response to dsRNA, TLR3 can mediate the activation of both NFkappaB and mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinases in IL-1-unresponsive mutant cell lines, including IRAK-deficient I1A and I3A cells, which are defective in a component that is downstream of IL-1R but upstream of IRAK. These results clearly indicate that TLR3 does not simply share the signaling components employed by the IL-1 receptor. Through biochemical analyses we have identified an IRAK-independent TLR3-mediated pathway. Upon binding of dsRNA to TLR3, TRAF6, TAK1, and TAB2 are recruited to the receptor to form a complex, which then translocates to the cytosol where TAK1 is phosphorylated and activated. The dsRNA-dependent protein kinase (PKR) is also detected in this signal-induced TAK1 complex. Kinase inactive mutants of TAK1 (TAK1DN) and PKR (PKRDN) inhibit poly(dI.dC)-induced TLR3-mediated NFkappaB activation, suggesting that both of these kinases play important roles in this pathway.

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