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J Immunol. 2006 Jan 15;176(2):1072-80.

The Ret finger protein inhibits signaling mediated by the noncanonical and canonical IkappaB kinase family members.

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  • 1Department of Cell Biology and Genetics, College of Life Sciences, Peking University, Beijing, China;


IFN regulatory factor-3 is a transcription factor that is required for the rapid induction of type I IFNs in the innate antiviral response. Two noncanonical IkappaB kinase (IKK) family members, IKKepsilon and TRAF family-associated NF-kappaB activator-binding kinase-1, have been shown to phosphorylate IFN regulatory factor-3 and are critically involved in virus-triggered and TLR3-mediated signaling leading to induction of type I IFNs. In yeast two-hybrid screens for potential IKKepsilon-interacting proteins, we identified Ret finger protein (RFP) as an IKKepsilon-interacting protein. Coimmunoprecipitation experiments indicated that RFP interacted with IKKepsilon and TRAF family-associated NF-kappaB activator-binding kinase-1 as well as the two canonical IKK family members, IKKbeta and IKKalpha. RFP inhibited activation of the IFN-stimulated response element and/or NF-kappaB mediated by the IKK family members and triggered by TNF, IL-1, polyinosinic-polycytidylic acid (ligand for TLR3), and viral infection. Moreover, knockdown of RFP expression by RNA interference-enhanced activation of IFN-stimulated response element and/or NF-kappaB triggered by polyinosinic-polycytidylic acid, TNF, and IL-1. Taken together, our findings suggest that RFP negatively regulates signaling involved in the antiviral response and inflammation by targeting the IKKs.

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