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J Exp Med. 2008 Jul 7;205(7):1611-9. doi: 10.1084/jem.20080297. Epub 2008 Jun 23.

TAK1 is required for the survival of hematopoietic cells and hepatocytes in mice.

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Oncology Institute, Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, Loyola University Medical Center, Maywood, IL 60153, USA.


Transforming growth factor beta-activated kinase 1 (TAK1), a member of the MAPKKK family, is a key mediator of proinflammatory and stress signals. Activation of TAK1 by proinflammatory cytokines and T and B cell receptors induces the nuclear localization of nuclear factor kappaB (NF-kappaB) and the activation of c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK)/AP1 and P38, which play important roles in mediating inflammation, immune responses, T and B cell activation, and epithelial cell survival. Here, we report that TAK1 is critical for the survival of both hematopoietic cells and hepatocytes. Deletion of TAK1 results in bone marrow (BM) and liver failure in mice due to the massive apoptotic death of hematopoietic cells and hepatocytes. Hematopoietic stem cells and progenitors were among those hematopoietic cells affected by TAK1 deletion-induced cell death. This apoptotic cell death is autonomous, as demonstrated by reciprocal BM transplantation. Deletion of TAK1 resulted in the inactivation of both JNK and NF-kappaB signaling, as well as the down-regulation of expression of prosurvival genes.

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