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Int J Cancer. 2005 Jan 10;113(2):267-75.

TRAF interactions with raft-like buoyant complexes, better than TRAF rates of degradation, differentiate signaling by CD40 and EBV latent membrane protein 1.

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UMR 8126 CNRS/IGR, Institut Gustave Roussy, rue Camille Desmoulins, 94805 Villejuif, France.


The CD40 receptor and the Epstein-Barr virus oncoprotein LMP1 are both members of the TNF-receptor family and share several signaling mediators, including TRAF2 and TRAF3. Depending on the cell lineage and stage of maturation, LMP1 and CD40 can have synergistic, antagonist or unrelated effects. Previous publications have suggested that both TRAF2 and TRAF3 move into lipid rafts upon LMP1 expression or CD40 activation, whereas their proteolysis is only enhanced by CD40. However CD40-induced proteolysis of TRAF2 has only been reported in murine cells, and there are conflicting data regarding translocation of TRAF2 into lipid rafts. We therefore investigated TRAF2 and TRAF3 modifications induced by CD40 and LMP1 signaling in a panel of human cell lines of lymphoid and epithelial origins. Upon CD40 stimulation, a marked redistribution of TRAF2 into the buoyant raft fraction was observed in all cell lines and was often associated with a similar redistribution of TRAF3. In contrast, only TRAF3 was redistributed into the raft fraction upon LMP1 expression. Moreover parallel changes in subcellular distribution of TRAF2 and TRAF3 were recorded by electron microscopy. A significant decrease in TRAF2 and TRAF3 concentrations triggered by CD40 ligation was observed in only 1 cell line and there was no evidence that this decrease was required for the negative feed-back on JNK activation. TRAF2 redistribution into raft-like complexes thus appears as the most significant event distinctive of CD40 and LMP1 signaling. On the other hand, the parallel influence of CD40 and LMP1 on TRAF3 redistribution is consistent with functional similarities between the CD40-TRAF3 and LMP1-TRAF3 axes.

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