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J Biol Chem. 2005 May 27;280(21):20442-8. Epub 2005 Mar 18.

Tpl2 (tumor progression locus 2) phosphorylation at Thr290 is induced by lipopolysaccharide via an Ikappa-B Kinase-beta-dependent pathway and is required for Tpl2 activation by external signals.

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Molecular Oncology Research Institute, Tufts-New England Medical Center and Tufts Cancer Center, Boston, Massachusetts 02111, USA.


The serine-threonine protein kinase encoded by the tumor progression locus 2 (Tpl2) proto-oncogene transduces Toll-like receptor and death receptor signals in a variety of cell types. Here we show that Tpl2 undergoes phosphorylation at Thr(290) both in cells overexpressing Tpl2 and in cells stimulated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) or tumor necrosis factor-alpha and that phosphorylation on this site parallels Tpl2 activation. Reconstitution of Tpl2(-/-) macrophages with wild type Tpl2 or Tpl2 T290D restored ERK activation by LPS, whereas reconstitution of the same cells with Tpl2 T290A did not, suggesting that phosphorylation at Thr(290) is required for the physiological activation of Tpl2 by external signals. Both the wild type Tpl2 and the kinase-inactive mutant Tpl2 K167M undergo Thr(290) phosphorylation, suggesting that Thr(290) may be a site of trans-phosphorylation rather than auto-phosphorylation. Pretreatment of 293 cells and primary macrophages with the Ikappa-B kinase-beta (IKKbeta) inhibitor PS-1145 blocked Tpl2 phosphorylation at Thr(290), suggesting that phosphorylation depends on IKKbeta, an obligatory positive regulator of Tpl2. We conclude that Tpl2 phosphorylation at Thr(290) is induced by LPS, depends on IKKbeta, and is required for the physiological activation of Tpl2 by external signals.

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